BMA Scotland has responded to a report from HIS (Healthcare Improvement Scotland) published on 30 November, to say action is needed to ensure that appraisal and revalidation processes work well for doctors.
Although the report describes medical revalidation in Scotland as a ‘success story’ BMA Scotland chair Peter Bennie says more needs to be done to improve the process.
Peter Bennie, chair of BMA Scotland said:
"We recognise the role of annual appraisal arrangements for doctors to allow them to reflect on their professional development as well as demonstrate their fitness to practise.
"The report states that medical revalidation is well established in Scotland but it does not address some of the concerns we have about the current process which many see as complex and burdensome.
"This includes challenges around sharing appraisal material easily across IT platforms and in ensuring an effective system for demonstrating the security of this information and who can access it.
"Most employers are still unable to provide career-grade doctors with meaningful data relating to their clinical activity and patient outcomes to fulfil the requirements of the appraisal. Doctors are already dealing with significant workload pressures so it is imperative, whether as appraises or appraisers they have the appropriate time in their job plans to prepare adequately for the process.
"While we welcome the report's finding that annual appraisal rates in Scotland have risen overall in 2015-16, we are concerned at the relatively low appraisal rates among some groups of medical staff such as secondary care locums and medical academic doctors, and this needs to be addressed as a priority".