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Doctors ‘on track’ for revalidation

21 August 2012

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The majority of doctors are now linked to organisations that have been declared “on track” to supporting them with revalidation from the end of 2012.

A report published by the NHS Revalidation Support Team (RST) Organisational Readiness Self-Assessment Report 2011-12 of 654 designated bodies – or NHS organisations employing or contracting doctors – found almost 100% of doctors now have a responsible officer in place and 82% have ties with organisations ready to offer support for the revalidation process.

The General Medical Council (GMC) plans to introduce  revalidation in early December 2012, subject to approval by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

The GMC is expected to submit its proposal for revalidation to Lansley at the end of September 2012.

More than half of doctors (58%) polled said they are covered by designated bodies with a policy for re-skilling, rehabilitation, remediation and targeted support, which has been deemed compliant with the responsible officer regulations.

The report also notes almost nine in ten doctors (85%) employed by designated bodies have an appraisal policy, which has been deemed compliant with the requirements of revalidation and (86%) have sufficient numbers of trained medical appraisers.

“Patients and the public should be confident that their doctors’ skills are up to date and that they are fit to practise. Maintaining rigorous standards is critical to offering good care,” said Lansley.

“It is good to see that the vast majority of doctors are linked to organisations that are ready to support them with revalidation. It is important that we regularly review that doctors are fit to practise to ensure patients continue to receive the best treatment possible.”

While “substantial progress” has been made over the past year, Dr Martin Shelly, Director of Implementation at the RST, said a number of areas still need to be “strengthened”.

“In particular the appraisal rates for hospital consultants and SAS doctors are still lower than we would like and these will require special attention this year,” he said.