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RCSEd Response to House of Commons Select Committee

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08 Feb 2011


Fourth report of Session 2010 - 2011

The emphasis placed on the importance of revalidation in competence assurance of surgeons is most welcome. In that regard we note the resonance with a number of items contained in The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh's submission to the Select Committee, notably the need for:

  • Rigour in establishing the accountability of the GMC's role in Revalidation and the recommendation for the GMC to act on behalf of Parliament (The GMC is currently accountable to Privy Council)
  • The opportunity for the Annual GMC Report to indicate progress in matters of professional regulation
  • Expediency in establishing revalidation
  • Acknowledging the potential for conflict of interest in the role of the Responsible Officer and the need for guidance from the GMC on this issue
  • Secure and consistent access for all doctors to a RO irrespective of NHS configuration / reconfiguration
  • Clarity surrounding the remediation processes
  • Recognition of risk of underperformance (in terms of communication) by some elements of the medical profession, notably those from elsewhere in the European Union and the inability of current legislation to accommodate that recognition
  • Increasing the contribution of peer and patient feedback in appraisal through a more frequent delivery of multi-source feedback (MSF) tools in order to avoid the criticism that the current plan is 'unambitious'.

We also welcome the potential role of revalidation in improving the quality of care given and elimination of substandard performance by better and earlier detection at appraisal.

The report understates the contribution Colleges and Specialty Associations can make to standard setting and this point requires repetition in the proposed dialogue between GMC and Parliament.

We also believe that revalidation, although having simplicity as an objective, will on occasion require detail to fulfil the aim of discriminating between the significant majority of good performers and the small numbers who give rise to concerns. This will require validated and reliable information which is not yet universally available.

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