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NHS Appraisals Helping Healthcare Staff

Revalidation and appraisals are an integral part of the professional life of any practicing clinician. However, the process is usually less than simple and may take many hours of work over a long period. Indeed, many doctors usually leave such things to the last minute, resulting in huge amounts of backlogged work and high stress levels.

Revalidation and appraisals are an integral part of the professional life of any practicing clinician. However, the process is usually less than simple and may take many hours of work over a long period. Indeed, many doctors usually leave such things to the last minute, resulting in huge amounts of backlogged work and high stress levels. Admin staff are usually asked to bear the brunt of all this and need to find time to complete their usual responsibilities, whilst also trying to track down old notes and patient records to help satisfy the criteria of the GMC. Meanwhile, doctors are usually obsessing over how they can prove that they fall within the required thresholds when they can’t even find the case they dealt with three years ago, let alone remember it.

This is why many specialised software companies have launched specific software packages to try and make the process a lot easier. NHS appraisal systems are designed to ensure that all the requirements are met and that evidence can be effectively collated and summarised without leaving things to the very last minute. Indeed, just the process of having a mental prompt can make a big difference and help them overcome the ‘I’ll do it next week’ syndrome. This is particularly important with doctors who frequently have huge amounts of paperwork to wade through and who are less than enthusiastic at the prospect of involving themselves in more if it’s at all avoidable.

Collaborative working is made a lot easier with NHS appraisal tools, as it allows admin staff to quickly and easily upload documents to an electronic portfolio, leaving the clinician free to review and summarise. With all the effort and hard work required, it’s easy to forget that an NHS appraisal is actually there to help you identify areas of your practice that could be improved. By working with a software package on a more regular basis, it won’t take until the end of a three year period for weaknesses to be identified, ensuring that by the time your appraisal is due, you can proudly say that you’d already taken salutary action.

The future of best practice assessment is likely to become more stringent in response to concerns about the way in which public money is being used, so the chances are that the requirements will only get more onerous. If this is the case, it’s certainly a good idea to have something in place to help with the collation of material.   

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