Taking revalidation forward; our response

ICS Statement on Sir Keith Pearson’s Report ‘Taking Revalidation Forward’, a review of revalidation.

As a designated body, we are currently responsible for the 5-year revalidation of almost 1,000 doctors as well as conducting more than 2,300 annual appraisals since 2012 when the new rules came in.

We are committed to working jointly with our NHS Trust customers and registered locum doctors to upholding the highest standards of patient care. ICS has a dedicated Responsible Officer, supported by a Clinical Director who together oversee our revalidation processes in full compliance with Good Medical Practice Guidelines and the Revalidation Regulations.

There are good reasons why someone might need more time to gather the feedback and training that is required during the revalidation, including parental leave, sick leave or working away. Of the Doctors we revalidated in the last year our deferral rate was 14%, which is lower than the rate for substantive NHS Doctors (16%).

However, we are disappointed to see that it is higher on average across the agency sector (36%). The GMC’s report highlights some serious concerns that both agencies and locums must address.

When it comes to reviewing poor performance, if an NHS Trust customer says “we do not want them back” we always ask why. If there are concerns, we discuss with them who is best placed to investigate, often working jointly with Trusts to resolve the matter and, where necessary, make referrals to the GMC.

Dr Russell Foster BSc, BA, MSc, PhD, MBBS, LLM, MRCPsych, CBiol, MRSB ICS Responsible Officer, said:

“We work in close partnership with NHS Trusts and other healthcare organisations including the GMC and NHS England to guarantee patient care and safety. We believe our processes are best in class, having been externally audited in 2015 and through our programme of continuing quality improvement. It is disappointing to see this is not necessarily the case across the agency sector and this report should be a wakeup call.

However, it is unhelpful to assume or imply that anyone working flexibly is doing so because their skills aren’t up to scratch, or they don’t want to provide the highest quality of patient care. More and more doctors want to work as locums so they can also look after children or ageing parents, for example. We actively support and guide our doctors to help guarantee that opportunities are open to them, whilst keeping them working in the NHS. This includes having robust checks in place to ensure their work is safe, appropriate and meets the needs of patients. We always ensure that we follow the guidance from the GMC and NHS England.”

Find more information on revalidation support available from ICS companies at revalidationservices.com

To view the full Taking Revalidation Forward report by Sir Keith Pearson, please click here.