Observations Body Politic

Revalidation seems to add little to the current appraisal process

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7375 (Published 02 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7375

Re: Revalidation seems to add little to the current appraisal process

Nigel Hawkes observations do not make sense. His statement that “on a usually sound principle that there is nothing in UK medicine that can’t be made worse by the involvement of the General Medical Council” is desultory. He questions whether revalidation will add anything to the appraisal process and further that revalidation will simply amount to a tsunami of paper. Revalidation is largely based on the appraisal process and the agreed Form 4 between the appraisee and the appraiser forwarded to the Responsible Officer. The idea that there is an additional tsunami of paper seems a journalistic exaggeration. I should add that in Scotland appraisal can be done electronically through the SOAR website.

Hawkes mentions the Bristol enquiry. The three main issues that the enquiry underlined are covered in the appraisal process, what preparation for Revalidation has achieved is an enhancement of the process, making it fit for purpose. Hawkes states rightly in my view that some doctors working in the NHS are unfit to do so, he questions the cost of remediation but fails to appreciate that unlike Revalidation, remediation is a devolved subject and may be managed differently in the four nations that constitute the UK.

He misses the point whether Revalidation will prevent another Shipman: it will not; crime is another matter. Revalidation is meant to provide further assurance to the public that the doctor is up to date and fit for practice.

Lastly his statement that coming under the care of doctor means the abandonment of the patient’s autonomy is out-dated.

Competing interests: NES National Appraisal Tutor

11 November 2012
S. Musheer Hussain
Consultant ENT Surgeon
Ninewells Hospital
Dundee DD2 1PB
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