SUPPORTING INFORMATION- INTRODUCTION
Providing supporting information is an important part of the appraisal process. This will vary between specialties but in general the following are the types of supporting information that all doctors must provide as part of the appraisal, demonstrating that you are keeping up to date, you are fit to practice, and regularly reflect on your practice activities.
In order to develop your portfolio of supporting information you will need to cover the four domains which cover the spectrum of medical practice, as defined by the GMC . They are:
1. Knowledge, skills and performance
2. Safety and quality
3. Communication, partnership and teamwork
4. Maintaining trust
The GMC state specifically that licensed doctors will need to bring a portfolio of supporting information to their appraisal which shows how they are meeting the professional values set out in Good Medical Practice.
Appraisers will be interested in what doctors think the supporting information says about their practice and how they plan to develop or modify their practice as a result. GMC guidance tells doctors the six types of supporting information they need to collect and how often they should collect it. Employers will to need to ensure they have clinical governance systems and other types of support in place that can provide doctors with the information they need.
There are six types of supporting information that doctors will be expected to provide and discuss at their appraisal.
1. Continuing professional development (CPD)
2. Quality improvement activity
3. Significant events
4. Feedback from colleagues
5. Feedback from patients
6. Review of complaints and compliments
As stated all doctors undertaking a current appraisal will be expected include supporting information covering theses areas. For each area the supporting information relating to your work will be required, and this must reflect your entire scope of practice.
This can sometimes present difficulty if the bulk of your clinical work is in one discipline, with only a small amount of work in another. However guidance has been quite clear about this. If for example you are an NHS GP, and have an ‘NHS appraisal’, any ‘extra’ clinical work you do, for example if you undertook private weigh controlling clinics , will also have to be subject to the appraisal process, and supporting evidence will be required, even for a restricted workload.
HOW SUPPORTING INFORMATION RELATES TO REVALIDATION
The information here has been developed to be used to support doctors who are engaging in the current UK revalidation process. Regulations introduced in 2012 by the DoH and the GMC provide a mechanism whereby UK registered doctors who wish to be re-licensed so that they continue to be allowed to practice clinical medicine in the UK, can do so be being revalidated as part of a continuing five year cycle. This is underpinned by the specific requirement to have annual appraisals, by a trained appraiser reporting to the Responsible Officer (RO) associated with their nominated designated body (DB). This provides every UK doctor with a route to revalidation. The RO will use the annual appraisal document, completed by both the appraiser and the doctor himself , together with other information from the DB, such as clinical governance reports etc. and the results from pervious appraisals, to come to a conclusion as whether the doctor can be recommended for re-validation by the GMC.
In many cases the above process is straight forward, whereby the doctor practices in a specialty that can be covered in its entirety by the appraisal, for example if a GP only is involved with general practice , and a GP appraiser covers this subject in the appraisal. In other examples, particularly in the independent sector, (IS) a doctor may be involved in a disparate group of clinical activities, and the appraiser may be unaware of details of the clinical work, and clinical governance mechanisms of one or more of that doctor’s specialties. Another example to that given above, maybe where an NHS GP with a special interest in, say aesthetic medicine, may be undertaking a routine NHS appraisal, but the appraiser may have no knowledge of that area of his work, and have difficulty in reporting to the RO with respect to that area of his scope of practice.
It is incumbent on all doctors attending their appraisals to report on all aspects of their scope of practice. Crucially this includes the provision of a sufficient quantity of supporting information, showing their adhering to the GMC code of practice in this particular clinical work.
In this example The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) provides full appraisals for doctors practicing aesthetic medicine, and is currently in the process of becoming a DB. This process covers doctors having their appraisals using the BCAM as their prescribed route to revalidation. However during the appraisal process it has often been found that doctors find the collation of appropriate supporting information difficult, particularly in the case of a first appraisal, when the process and the types of approved information are not familiar to the doctor ‘appraisee’.
Doctors faced with a dilemma around providing suitable supporting evidence can obtain specific support from their royal colleges, who have guidance documents to support their members. Links to the colleges websites can be found by referring to the ‘useful links” section of ourwebsite.
This website contains a series of templates and forms that can be cut and pasted to form the basis of the supporting information required for a doctor undertaking appraisal.
In practice, the latter required documentation may take a number of different forms, including paper and electronic versions, and how you collect the forms, and link it to the appraisal form being used varies from case to case, and you will have to decide how to use this resource depend on your personal circumstances. Copies of the templates and forms referred to here can be obtained on request to Doctors Appraisal Consultancy, through the ‘contact us’ section of the website.
EXAMPLES OF SUPPORTING EVIDENCE PROVIDED HERE ON THE DOCTORS APPRAISAL CONSULTANCY WEBSITE
You can refer here to generic templates and forms that you then can adapt to your own practice;