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RCS Statement: Select Committee revalidation concerns echo College

08 February 2011

In response to the publication of the Health Select Committee report on revalidation, Professor Antony Narula, RCS Council member for revalidation, said:

“The College strongly supports the Health Select Committee’s recommendation that the GMC should publish clear guidance to Responsible Officers about handling conflicts of interest. We also welcome the recognition that appraisal, as the key mechanism in the process, must be improved and made consistent. Ideally, we would like the GMC to specify minimum expectations for how appraisal is managed instead of leaving this to the four departments of health in the UK to design.

We also support the committee’s call for greater clarity on how doctors who do not receive a positive recommendation of revalidation will be dealt with. We have previously called for the GMC to produce details on appeals and how the revalidation process interfaces with their existing 'fitness to practice' processes.

We welcome the Select Committee’s recommendation that the GMC continues its efforts to resolve problems of doctors from elsewhere in the European Union. The Committee’s report does not discuss how the revalidation process applies to 'fly in fly out' doctors who work in the UK on temporary registration and we would welcome a clear statement from the GMC on this.

However, the College has repeatedly called for a risk based approach to revalidation with the focus on doctors with non-standard careers, particularly locums, instead of doctors working full time in an NHS trust with existing appraisal and clinical governance systems. Unlike the Health Committee, we do not agree that the Responsible Officers Regulations have provided sufficient clarification. We also remain concerned that monitoring of the whole of a doctors practice is not embedded in the system and there is currently no imperative for organisations to share information about clinicians who work in more than one place.”