Speaking further to the announcement the Recruitment and Employment Confederations Director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley, said that “The Health Committee is right to highlight the need for robust checks. The revalidation process must provides clear guidance and empower Responsible Officers to take action when quality of care is compromised. Professional recruiters already play a key role in promoting safe recruitment through the effective vetting and placing of temporary and locum staff. The REC has consistently argued that protecting vulnerable groups should be the overriding concern when implementing new revalidation measures. At the same time, a number of key questions remain. Healthcare recruiters are being asked to take on responsible officers without sufficient knowledge of what the role will require. Wider reforms to the healthcare system are also creating a lack of clarity as to how the accountability process would operate. The Department of Health must work with the General Medical Council (GMC) to ensure that these rules are clearly laid out, preventing confusion from impeding the implementation process. The REC will continue to work with the Department of Health and the GMC on this issue, making the case for a robust system which protects patients whilst reflecting the particular nature of locum work and is workable for specialised recruitment agencies. “
Last year the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, extended by a year the Revalidation Pilots to March 2012 in an effort to ‘allay the medical profession’s concerns’. At the time Mr Lansley 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 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.’
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