Written evidence from the Royal College
of General Practitioners (Scotland) (REV 22)|
The Royal College of General Practitioners (Scotland)
welcomes the opportunity to provide written evidence to the Select
Committee on the Revalidation of Doctors which aims to provide
a safeguard policy of proactively ensuring that general practitioners
who are registered in practice are still safe and competent to
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)
is the academic organisation in the UK for general practitioners.
Its aim is to encourage and maintain the highest standards
of general medical practice and act as the "voice" of
general practitioners on education, training and issues around
standards of care for patients.
The College in Scotland came into existence in 1953
(one year after the UK College), when a Scottish Council was created
to take forward the College's interests within the Scottish Health
Service. We currently represent over 4500 GP members and Associates
in Training throughout Scotland. In addition to a base in Edinburgh,
the College in Scotland is represented through five regional faculty
offices in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee and Glasgow.
The Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners
(Scotland) supports the views provided by Professor Amanda Howe,
Honorary Secretary of Council in written evidence, submitted on
behalf of RCGP, and the following is a summary of the points contained
within that document:
1. The Royal College of General Practitioners
strongly supports the introduction of revalidation for doctors.
Revalidation will offer the public, health professionals, managers,
employers and the state reassurance that every doctor is keeping
up to date and remains fit to practice. In addition it will encourage
doctors to reflect on their standards of care, strive for improvement;
and identify any underperformance at an early stage when intervention
is most likely to be effective and feasible.
2. In supporting revalidation, we recognise some
significant challenges exist. Revalidation for doctors must be
fit for the purpose; fair and equitable to all doctors; achievable
with minimal disruption to the delivery of healthcare; and applicable
to all doctors whatever their chosen career pathway.
3. Revalidation must be as simple and explicable
as possible, while still achieving its stated objectives. For
this reason we wish to achieve:
- A common definition of the supporting information
normally required from all doctors regardless of their specialty.
- The simplification of mapping of the supporting
information for revalidation and the appraiser sign off.
- The processes and tools for Colleague Surveys
and Patient Surveys should be clarified.
4. Annual appraisal is evolving, but it must
become a more robust assessment of information on a doctor's performance,
using a common set of supporting information.
5. Local clinical governance must be an effective
system that responds appropriately to concerns raised through
appraisals or through other routes.
6. There are a number of unresolved issues arising
from Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS that threaten the
overall integrity of revalidation including the location and organisation
- The maintenance of the Performers List (the local
register of GPs).
- Clinical Governance and patient safety.
- The Responsible Officer.
- Processes for addressing concerns about the performance
of individual doctors or teams, including a definition of the
nature of the problem and the actions to address it, support/remediation
In addition to the above, RCGP Scotland would also
like to offer the following views for consideration when concluding
the policy on revalidation.
(a) At present, still in the early stages of
revalidation tools development, Colleges, NHS agencies and Academies
are endeavouring to meet the criteria as set out by the Select
Committee. Collaboration and communication between these agencies
regarding the development and access to their revalidation tools
system could afford great merit in ensuring the interoperability
of tools, both existing and for future design. Standardised and
compatible access process and input procedure could result in
a more powerful and accessible tool for all users.
(b) Finally, RCGP Scotland welcomes the Secretary
of State's announcement to extend the piloting of revalidation
by a year meaning that it will not now be fully implemented until
2012 at the earliest and we strongly feel that taking the time
to ensure the system is relevant, accessible and user-friendly
will pay dividends for the general practitioners and patients
We hope you find these comments useful.