At the end of last week Sir Keith Pearson released his review of medical revalidation, and one of the first and key recommendations was that health services and the profession need to promote revalidation to patients and explain why their feedback is so important to the process.
This is an extremely positive recommendation, but it begs the question – did you know that you could get involved with developing your doctor’s career?
Revalidation for doctors was introduced in the UK in December 2012 and requires all doctors to demonstrate that they are ‘up to date and fit to practise’. The process includes feedback from colleagues and from patients.
Sir Keith was asked by the General Medical Council to provide a review of how the process had embedded in the profession and across health services.
Healthcare professionals increasingly need effective patient input if they are to provide a relevant, sustainable and effective service.
Conversely, patients and the public have the right to contribute to, advise and inform not just the professionals who care for them, but also the service structure within which they are treated.
When this double dynamic works well, it results in a responsive NHS service that has the confidence of all concerned. It also provides both healthcare professionals and patients the knowledge and voice to defend NHS services that are placed at risk.
We were delighted to see patients feature so prominently in Sir Keith’s review. The role of us all in the development of doctors and our health services is important to ensuring that the profession and the delivery of health progress in line with the needs of patients.
However, until now there has been little, if any, definitive support for healthcare professionals about how best to engage patients and the public across all aspects of healthcare. If there was to be a random poll on any High Street asking ordinary people if they know how they can get involved, most would not know that any opportunities exist at all.