Email to all GPs in Wessex
Following the recent email which was sent to all GPs in Wessex explaining the requirement that all doctor must engage in colleague feedback in each and every revalidation cycle and advertising the MSF developed by the LMC for GPs, we have received a number of emails and phone calls asking for clarification on a number of related issues.
I therefore thought it would be helpful to answer these questions and disseminate the answers widely as the same questions are repeated.
1. Do I have to do a colleague feedback?
In 2009 all GPs were issued with a “licence to practice” by the GMC. Over the next 3 years all GPs who wish to continue to work in general practice will need to remain on the Performers List and also be subject to Revalidation and therefore will have their “Licence to practice” renewed. About 20% will be revalidated in 2013/4, 40% in 2014/5 and the final 40% in 2015/6.
To be revalidated and issued a licence to practice in each Revalidation cycle (normally 5 years) you should have:
a. Engaged in and completed an appraisal - Annual requirement.
b. Engage in quality improvement activities - Annual requirement.
c. Declare and reflect on any serious untoward incidents - Annual requirement.
d. Reflect on patient feedback - Once every 5 year cycle.
e. Colleague feedback - Once in every 5 year cycle.
f. Reflect on complaints and compliments - Annual requirement.
So in every 5 year cycle you need to do a colleague feedback that meets the GMC’s specification, reflected on the results and discuss your reflections and possible actions with your appraiser.
2. When will I be revalidated?
We believe that in December this year the GMC will notify all Doctors which year will be the one that they are revalidated in.
3. Do I have to carry out an MSF before my date of revalidation?
Yes you do. You need to carry it out, and discussed it with your appraiser before the date of your revalidation. Remember that your date of appraisal next year may be October but the revalidation date may be in the 2nd quarter.
If you have not completed the MSF the Responsible officer (RO) will not be able to recommend you for revalidation, and will defer their recommendation for 3 – 6 months until you have completed all components of Revalidation.
4. How many people do I need to ask?
The evidence suggests you need a minimum of 12 people to feedback to validate the responses, therefore the general advice is that if you ask 15 to 20 colleagues you are likely to get 12 or more responses.
The GMC suggests that for colleague feedback you get 15 colleagues to feedback and for patients the minimum number should be 34.
5. Do they all have to be GPs?
No they should be a mixture of people you work with. They could be GPs, nurses, administrative staff, consultants etc. If you have more than one role for example work Out of Hours, are a GP with Special Interest or even work for a CCG then your colleague feedback should reflect the breadth of your work.
6. Is it compulsory to use the LMC MSF tool?
No, the LMC tool was developed to make it easier for GPs. The process is easy and involves the minimum of time and effort for the GP, in addition it is available at less than ½ the cost of many commercial tools.
You can use any MSF you like so long as it meets the GMC Criteria.
7. How much does it cost?
The LMC MSF costs £36 and any profits are reinvested in services for GPs in Wessex.
8. What do I do with the feedback?
You need to reflect on the scores and the comments, discuss them with your appraiser and if necessary add any appropriate actions to your next year’s Personal Development Plan.
9. Can we use the GMC Questionnaire?
You can and I know some GPs have done so as they believe this is the cheapest option. Please remember this has to be administered totally independently of the clinician. So it needs to be given to colleagues, completed questionnaires need to be non-identifiable and the results collected and analysed independently of the clinician. One could argue that your practice manager is not sufficiently independent. It is also quite time consuming to analyse, tabulate and record all the responses.
10. Is it OK to hand the Questionnaires out and then send all the replies to my appraiser?
It is not acceptable for the clinician to be given each questionnaire and also not acceptable for the individual completed questionnaires to be sent to your appraiser.
Dr Nigel Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Wessex Local Medical Committees.