Early benefits and impact of medical revalidation

Ear exam

29 / 4 / 2014 4.02pm

The NHS revalidation support team (RST) published a report in March 2014 that summarises the early benefits and impact of medical revalidation in England.

The RST report entitled The early benefits and Impact of medical revalidation says, that one year into implementation, medical revalidation is delivering value but more needs to be done to maximise benefits in the future. Approximately 3,500 responses to surveys on the impact of revalidation from doctors, appraisers, responsible officers and designated bodies were analysed, supported by findings from two additional research reports from The King’s Fund and Plymouth University.

Key points from the report include:

  • a continued increase in appraisal rates (which increased from 63 per cent to 76 per cent (between March 2011 and March 2013)
  • an increased focus on the quality of appraisers and the appraisal process
  • indicative signs that concerns about a doctor’s practice are being identified at an earlier stage
  • strong support for the system among responsible officers and appraisers
  • strong support from doctors, appraisers and responsible officers for medical appraisal.
However it was also highlighted that some doctors feel that revalidation is not relevant to their needs, appraisal and revalidation is taking slightly longer than expected, and patients and the public need a clearer and more powerful role in revalidation.

The six key recommendations of the report are summarised below:

  • Partners need to reconfirm the intent of appraisal, revalidation and clinical governance and communicate this more clearly to ensure stronger and more meaningful engagement in the process. This needs to be communicated now and throughout the implementation period.
  • Patients and the public need a more powerful role in revalidation. This requires stronger mechanisms for feedback, clearer processes for engagement of lay members and more attention to the collective voice of patients and the public.
  • Responsible officers need to work closely with boards and executive teams to ensure revalidation moves beyond compliance and is used to promote excellence in quality and safety for patients.
  • Partners should identify and share examples of operating models to ensure revalidation is being managed in a way that is proportionate and effective.
  • Systems, protocols and guidance need to be strengthened to provide assurance that information is being used in the most effective way for revalidation
  • Partners need to continue to work together to collect evidence and gain insight on the costs, benefits and impact of revalidation. Research should be prioritised throughout implementation (with annual reports published) culminating in a post-implementation review in 2016-17.
The RST closed on 31 March 2014. NHS England has taken over responsibility for overseeing the implementation of revalidation in England. NHS England will be building on the work of the RST in taking revalidation forward, with the goal of revalidating all licensed doctors in England by March 2016.

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