Survey reveals revalidation ambiguity among locum doctors

Published on Friday, 04 July 2014 15:03
Written by Vicki Mitchem

The results of a survey, conducted by leading healthcare recruiter ID Medical, indicated that locum doctors feel that there is uncertainty and difficulties faced when it comes to the revalidation and appraisal process.

ID Medical's qualitative survey polled 250 registered doctors not currently connected to any agency as their designated body. The survey was conducted to gain insight into what doctors truly feel when it comes to revalidation.
Almost 79% responded 'Yes' to the open question - 'Do you find there is uncertainty in the locum market on how to revalidate?' with one doctor commenting, "As a locum doctor it is extremely difficult to collate all details required for revalidation since you are not permanently employed."

The need for more support from locum agencies and the General Medical Council (GMC) is a particularly strong opinion among respondents with doctors stating there is not enough information provided, especially for overseas doctors.
Additional recurring themes include the challenge of gaining patient and colleague 360° feedback, with one locum doctor commenting, "Who will ever get to know me long enough to truly evaluate me?"

When asked 'Is revalidation considered burdensome?' 74% responded 'Yes', with one respondent expressing, "It [revalidation] takes several manpower days away from the frontline of healthcare," reiterated by further comments; "I have to put my medical practice aside for days on end to chase bureaucratic paperwork" and, "We are constantly required to do things to prove our practices instead of concentrating on our patients."

The survey also looked at the career development, reflection and quality improvement gained as a result of engaging in revalidation and although 59% responded 'No' to the question, 'Does revalidation encourage reflection and quality improvement?' commentary was generally positive.


  • "Strict and honest feedback helps in professional development and makes doctors think about their career goals and objectives."
  • "Revalidation is one of the very important elements of Total Quality Management."
  • "Routine work is busy and you need prompting to focus on quality."


Responding to the survey's findings, Deenu Patel, managing director at ID Medical said, "Locum doctors' service to the NHS is invaluable and for revalidation to work, every doctor, regardless of whether they are in a substantive or temporary position, needs to fully understand revalidation, be provided with the support they need and be able to revalidate when the time comes.

"Many locum doctors have expressed the need for clarity when it comes to gathering supporting information and feedback from their patients and colleagues. As a locum agency it is our responsibility to provide comprehensive information, supplementary to that of the GMC, and guide doctors through the principles and stages of revalidation.

"Many of our respondents stated in our survey that revalidation is all about good medical practice and quality improvement – and we certainly agree. Revalidation is essential but time is a precious commodity for doctors, so with the aim of reducing some of the pressures faced, ID Medical's Revalidation Support Team works closely with doctors on a one-to-one basis to simplify the process, provide continual support and ensure they can focus their attention on delivering excellent patient care.

"Our focus now is to raise awareness of our additional revalidation support within the doctor community." he said.

Source: ID Medical

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