In his letter to the General Medical Council, Andrew Lansley the new Health Secretary said that “I do not yet have sufficient confidence that there will be time properly to gather and evaluate evidence on all aspects of revalidation and to amend plans in the light of the current pilots. I therefore intend to extend the piloting period for a further year to enable us to develop a clearer understanding of the costs, benefits and practicalities of implementation, so that it can be paced in a way that is affordable, supports high-quality care and makes effective use of doctors’ time. I know that the service will be closely scrutinising the plans, and will want to ensure that the benefits are robust and achievable and the costs [are] affordable when decisions are being made about the speed of final roll-out. In particular, we will need to be able to assure doctors, employers and commissioners that the proposals for medical appraisal and the [medical] royal college standards are proportionate.”
In response to Mr Lansley the GMC Chair, Peter Rubin said “the decision to extend piloting of revalidation in England will ensure that these systems are sufficiently robust without being burdensome or bureaucratic for doctors or employers.’
The Chairman of the British Medical Association, Hamish Meldrum, commented that “The BMA is pleased that the Department of Health agrees with doctors that revalidation must be based on good evidence, be fair and proportionate and support their professional desire to improve their practice. We welcome the decision to extend the piloting so we can be assured that the benefits are seen to be robust and achievable and the costs are affordable before a final decision is taken as to the timing and nature of any roll-out.”
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