Armed forces doctor

Last updated:

Army chooses first revalidation cohort

The first cohort of military medics to undergo revalidation has been identified, the BMA civilian doctors conference heard last week in London.

Clifford Dieppe, one of two deputy ROs (responsible officers) for the Army, told the BMA 2012 civilian doctors conference that the first doctors to move through the process will be appraisers, GP trainers and those ready with supporting evidence.

The UK revalidation programme board was due to meet this week, to discuss the state of readiness for revalidation across all four nations. The GMC will then advise the health secretary. If the government gives the go-ahead, revalidation is set to begin in December.

Colonel Dieppe, a consultant adviser in general practice for the Army, told the conference there were ‘no insurmountable issues’ for the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

After a first cohort of 20 per cent, a further 40 per cent of medics will revalidate from April 2014 and the remaining 40 per cent from April 2015, he said.

RO confusion resolved

He added that, following some confusion about who would act as ROs, each armed force would have its own RO.

Colonel Dieppe urged doctors to confirm their designated bodies by using their GMC online accounts, and to set up an account if they had not done so already.

Designated bodies are the organisations to which doctors are connected for appraisal and revalidation. purposes — usually their employers.

Each designated body has an RO, who will make the revalidation recommendations for doctors.

For the armed forces, the designated bodies are each of the three services, plus the Defence Postgraduate Medical Deanery.

Quality-assured appraisal system

Colonel Dieppe recommended that civilian medical practitioners should check with their designated bodies to ensure they had been allocated ROs. He said some might be on PCT performers lists, and the PCTs might believe they were responsible for providing the ROs.

‘We have been contacting doctors that we think belong to us to change them over [to our ROs],’ he said.

In the meantime, the appraisal system would be quality-assured to make sure it was robust while also ‘avoiding demoralising or damaging doctors’, he said.

Civilian doctors provide general medical services to armed forces personnel and their families, usually from military bases.

Though represented by the BMA armed forces committee, they are not members of the armed forces and are not deployed on the frontline.