Regulation of doctors

There are certain standards that have to be met by all doctors working in your Practice, including those working as locums.

(Nurses have their own similar codes of practice)

1)   All doctors have to have completed their medical degrees, followed by a prescribed period of training specifically geared to General Practice, typically a three-year course supervised by a University department of General Practice.

2)   All have to be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and have a Licence to Practise.

3)   All have to carry indemnity insurance in case of medical accidents, renewable yearly.

4)   The Practice as a whole is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Doctors Further Training/Education

In addition all doctors have to provide evidence to the regulatory bodies of continuing education and learning. This is to ensure that doctors are up to date with latest best practice and can incorporate this into their care.

Apart from formal learning on educational courses, reading and on-line study, we have to show continuing reviews of policies and procedures, with mandatory refresher training in important areas such as resuscitation techniques, child protection and safeguarding of vulnerable patients.

Complaints and significant events are recorded and discussed at regular meetings; this with the aim of learning lessons that might lead to improvements in quality of care. With our community nursing colleagues we also review all aspects of palliative care.

As a Practice we are a member of the Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Groups, looking at ways of ensuring we obtain best value from the healthcare budget for all our patients. Examples here would include cost-effective prescribing, monitoring referrals to hospital and the outcomes of hospital stays, use of Community Services.

Quality Control – Appraisal and Revalidation

Each year every doctor has to produce a portfolio of evidence to show that such work has been done, and how this has led to changes and improvements of their daily practice.

This process is known as APPRAISAL and is undertaken by an independent doctor from another practice, or even region, allocated randomly. He or she will have had special training for this role, and cannot appraise a friend or a colleague from his or her own Practice. They will ensure that the appraised doctor has undertaken the equivalent of a minimum of 50 hours of relevant up dating outside their daily medical duties. Their overall effort is scored against a national framework of standards set by the GMC.

A satisfactory Appraisal is expected every year, and these appraisal reports are further to be assessed every 5 years in a new process set up by the GMC from December 2012. This is known as REVALIDATION, and is undertaken by a senior management Clinician at PCT level, and is a further check on quality at GP level.

A satisfactory Revalidation will be necessary for a doctor to retain his or her Licence to Practise, and these will begin taking place from 2013 on a rolling 5 yearly cycle.

Further information on Revalidation is available from the GMC website: www.gmc-uk.org