All Doctors in the UK from 2012 must have a regular review of their practice, called revalidation. Revalidation demonstrates that they are up to date and fit to practice.
The system started in the wake of medical scandals that have rocked the health world, e.g. Harold Shipman. The feeling being that revalidation keeps Doctors to the standard expected – by making sure they use evidence-based medicine and attend regular training etc.
Frequency of Review
Revalidation also requires addressing concerns about softer skills such as communication and maintaining trust with patients. This forms part of the process. The process happens every five years and applies to all doctors in all settings in the UK, in particular doctors working as a locum, and in the private sector such as in occupational medicine.
Doctors too should undergo annual appraisals based on the requirements of the GMC’s core guidance of good medical practice.
A responsible officer, who is usually in the medical director (in particular in the NHS), ensures doctors have an annual appraisal and that issues arising are properly addressed. They will also review evidence from those evaluations and make a recommendation to the GMC about the doctor’s continuing fitness to practice every five years.
The evidence provided must include examples of:
- Quality improvement activity
- Any significant events
- Feedback from colleagues and patients
- A review of any complaints and compliments from patients.
The GMC always makes the final decision on whether a doctor can continue as a doctor which ensure consistency.
The Department of Health has worked extensively with the GMC, the Royal Colleges, employers, patients’ groups and the British Medical Association to ensure that the revalidation of Doctors strikes the right balance and does not take up a disproportionate amount of a doctor’s time. The GMC will work with employers to implement and manage the system.
Further Advice and Reading:
- For more information go to the GMC revalidation pages
- The SEQOHS process checks Doctors revalidation in Occupational Medicine
- Click the link for more information regarding SEQOHS Accreditation
The Faculty of Occupational Medicine has produced guidance for employers on how to chose an Occupational Health Doctor