The Royal College of GPs governing council has passed a motion to call for suspension of GP appraisal for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic
Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs have been working incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, and as we move into winter, things are only set to get busier. General practice is now carrying out more patient consultations than the same period last year, as well as delivering the expanded flu vaccination programme and preparing to take a central role in delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
“A number of administrative tasks, including appraisal and revalidation, were suspended during the first wave of the pandemic. This helped enormously in reducing pressure on GPs, allowing more time for them to focus on patient care. The College has been pleased to see the introduction of a ‘lighter touch’ approach to appraisal but we remain concerned that many GPs simply do not have the capacity to engage even with a simpler process. It is now necessary to create capacity to allow GPs to do what is needed to tackle COVID-19 whilst continuing to deliver the vital care and services our patients rely on us for. To this end, the College is calling for the suspension of GP appraisal to be re-instated until the acute phase of the pandemic is over.
“Appraisal serves a number of important functions and some GPs find the process supportive and useful. For this reason, it is important that appraisal should continue for those GPs who want to undertake it. We continue to be committed to working with partners to ensure appraisal serves its function as a supportive process for GPs, whilst not being burdensome for GPs who are working under intense resource and workforce pressures.”