The Revalidation process was introduced under UK statute in 2012, for all doctors registered with a license to practise, to provide assurance to patients and the general public, that they are up to date and fit to practise and to help doctors improve the care they give, provide reassurance and reinforcement of their performance, and provide a way of identifying problems early and ensure these are addressed in a timely manner.
How does Revalidation work?
All doctors with a license to practice must complete annual appraisals for which they collect, and evidence, detailed information about their practice. During each appraisal their information is reviewed and discussed with a specially trained senior doctor – called an Appraiser – and a plan is agreed, as to how a doctor can improve and build upon what they do well, over the following 12 months.
As part of the Revalidation process, it is a requirement that all doctors receive formal feedback, from colleagues and patients, once every 5 years. This is usually through the use of formal questionnaires. All feedback received via this process is collated, anonymised and then reviewed by the doctor with their appraiser. The doctor must then provide reflection on how the information received can be used to improve the care they give.
In addition to the formal feedback process, doctors often receive informal feedback from patients (e.g. thank you cards, letters etc.), each year, which they can include in their appraisal portfolio. This feedback plays a very important role in the Revalidation process.
Why are we doing this?
When you visit a doctor, whether this is your GP or a doctor in a hospital, you want to know that they will provide you with the best possible care. The aim of revalidation is to give extra confidence to patients that their doctor can provide this care by being up to date and fit to practise.
Over time, we believe the Revalidation process will contribute towards better and safer care for patients, by improving doctors’ professional development.
How is this checked?
Each trust has an experienced senior doctor assigned to manage the Revalidation process – this person is called a Responsible Officer.
The Responsible Officer ensures that each doctor’s appraisal and feedback is reviewed on a regular basis throughout each 5 year revalidation cycle to ensure they are up to date and fit to practice. If everything is in order, the responsible officer will then make a recommendation to the General Medical Council every 5 years that the doctor should be revalidated.
Why is Revalidation important?
Revalidation gives confidence to patients and the general public, that clinical governance systems are in place that ensure every doctor’s practice and performance is being regularly monitored and checked by a senior doctor, Responsible Officer and General Medical Council. This process helps to improve patient safety and patient experience and ensures that any potential problems are managed effectively.
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How can patients get involved?
As mentioned above, patient feedback plays an extremely important part in the Revalidation process. If you wish to provide feedback on a doctor you see and/or the service you receive you can:
If you wish to find out more information about the Revalidation process at Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust, please contact the Revalidation team at Revalidation@liverpoolft.nhs.uk