The first group of doctors is expected to undergo revalidation by early 2013. Responsible Officers will be asked to pledge about twenty percent of their doctors for the first wave. Prescribed connections between doctors and their Responsible Officers have now been defined clearly by the GMC and all doctors should have made a connection to their Responsible Officer. Mostly these connections will be straightforward and for consultants in an NHS Trust, this will be to their Trust Responsible Officer. Consultants without any NHS affiliation but with practicing privileges in one or more independent hospitals should report to the Responsible Officer where they do most work. In the event they split their work evenly between two different hospitals they should report to the hospital which is nearest to their home address. There is some confusion about consultants who have entirely left the NHS but have an Honorary Consultant Appointment but do no work in the NHS Trust. In these cases they should still report to the NHS Responsible Officer.
FIPO-CAppS, a subgroup reporting to FIPO has been set up in order to provide appraisals for fully independent hospital based consultants. Consultants who are seeking appraisal should contact the FIPO office at our contact address.
Responsible Officers in the acute independent sector have formed a committee known as ISROC (Independent Sector Responsible Office Committee) and this was initially facilitated by FIPO.
The function of ISROC will be to provide a professional and unified approach for revalidation in the acute hospital independent sector. ISROC will be the point of contact for the acute independent hospital sector and will provide a unified front in dealings with the GMC, NHS Revalidation Support Team, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and NHS Trusts. ISROC is working with FIPO-CAppS to develop appraisal systems by engagement in the Pilot Study and also with the NHS London RO Network Board to which all Responsible Officers in the London area will report. As most independent hospital groups have their head offices in the London area they will be represented on this supervisory committee as is FIPO-CAppS.
ISROC (Independent Sector Responsible Office Committee)
Responsible Officers in the acute independent sector have formed a committee known as ISROC (Independent Sector Responsible Office Committee) and this has been facilitated by FIPO which will be represented on this committee.
The function of ISROC will be to provide a professional and unified approach for revalidation in the acute hospital independent sector. ISROC will be the point of contact for the acute independent hospital sector and will provide a unified front in dealings with the GMC, NHS Revalidation Support Team, The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and NHS Trusts. ISROC is working with FIPO-CAppS to develop appraisal systems and also with the London and other SHA authorities to which all Responsible Officers will report initially.
The predominant issues for the independent sector, as opposed to the NHS, are currently the fact that consultants with an NHS appointment of any sort will report to their NHS responsible officer whereas purely independent consultants with no NHS affiliation (but who hold practising privileges at one or more acute independent hospitals) will report to a responsible officer appointed through an acute independent hospital. Many consultants work in more than one private hospital in which case they will report to the responsible officer where they do most work. These are the arrangements currently proposed in the responsible officer consultation process.
Appraisal for consultants in the NHS will be arranged through their Trust and this is taken to be a Trust responsibility. However, acute independent hospitals do not provide appraisal services. Fully independent consultants, therefore, must arrange their appraisal (now called Strengthened Medical Appraisal – SMA) via a separate source. Previously, many consultants arranged an appraisal on a “buddy-buddy” system but this is not going to be possible under the new system. Appraisers will have to be fully trained and recognised although the process of “accreditation” of an appraiser is presently unclear. The responsible officer in each organisation will need to ensure that the appraisal process is robust and as he/she will be accountable for the appraisal processes upon which he/she depends in order to affirm to the GMC about a consultant’s status for revalidation. For this reason the responsible officer will only accept “legitimate appraisals”.
FIPO is working with the London Consultants’ Association and the necessary authorities to set up such a system and more details will become apparent as the full legal requirements are revealed.
NHS consultants with a private practice should note that their independent practice work will have to be taken into account by their NHS responsible officer. Thus the private sector responsible officer will have to pass through information on scope and extent of practice, complications, complaints and possible incidents. Much of this is sensitive information to both hospital and individual and there are systems being put into place to ensure confidentiality. This is whole practice appraisal writ large.
Meeting Report – Revalidation in the Independent Sector
24th November 2009
The whole process of revalidation for the medical profession is now the subject of many publications and article emanating from the GMC, the DoH, the Royal Colleges and various other bodies. The manner in which revalidation will be implemented for consultants in the acute independent sector is currently unclear and there are a number of specific issues and challenges that lie ahead.
FIPO, in conjunction with the GMC and the London Consultants’ Association held a meeting on the 24th November 2009 at the Royal College of Physicians, London at which all aspects of consultant revalidation were considered with particular emphasis on the acute independent sector. Leading speakers from the GMC, Royal Colleges, NCAS, the Care Quality Commission, hospital management, defence organisations and others reviewed all aspects of revalidation. There were audience interactive sessions analysing data collection, complaints and concerns against consultants. Strengthened and multisource appraisal was discussed including the role of Responsible Officers.