Revalidation of Doctors - Health Committee Contents

Written evidence from the Royal College of Surgeons of England Patient Liaison Group (REV 20)

The Patient Liaison Group (PLG) of the Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent body, which reports regularly to the College's Council. Comprising a majority of lay members (including its Chair), it provides a patient, carer, and public perspective across core College business. This submission represents the considered views of the PLG itself, and not necessarily those of the wider College or of its members.


Revalidation of doctors is intended to improve medical practice, and to ensure that all doctors are up to date with new procedures and practising at the highest standard to equalise patient care and safety across the board.

  • The PLG think that all doctors should undertake revalidation as soon as possible. Revalidation always seems to be two years away.
  • The process of revalidation needs to be as straightforward as possible, including all doctors in the process, so that patient care is at the same level everywhere.
  • Strengthening annual appraisals may be one way to accelerate the process. However, this needs to be carefully tailored to medicine revalidation, and not just a resort to speed up putting in place some kind of quality assurance.
    • A register to ensure all doctors take part in an annual appraisal so no one who may be causing problems slips through the net.
    • One way to introduce annual appraisals that are of a high enough standard to ensure that all doctors are being evaluated the same way would be to institute a fine for any Trust failing to produce an appraisal system that is up to the standard set.
    • Another is to institute training of the annual appraisers to ensure that the standard is set at the same high level that patients have a right to expect.
    • A plan needs to be in place of how to handle unsatisfactory appraisals and revalidation if they come to light.
  • As appraisals are for patient safety, and security in the level of patient care, then the PLG feels that patients should be able to give more regular feedback about the care they receive, such as online or hospital feedback letters. This enables patients to interact with their doctors and their individual care.
  • We endorse the use of objective relevant outcome data to be used in revalidation.

November 2010

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