Hospital pioneers programme to monitor performance of doctors


An anaesthetist based at Southampton’s university hospitals has pioneered a revolutionary monitoring programme to ensure doctors are consistently performing at the highest level.

Dr John Stubbing, a consultant at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, has built a team of 85 assessors and 12 clinical appraisal leads to keep all doctors up to date with the latest developments in their specialties and to assess their fitness to practise.

The move follows the development of a new General Medical Council (GMC) system for regulating licensed doctors, known as revalidation, which will be introduced nationwide in December.

Under the process, doctors will have to revalidate every five years by having regular appraisals based on the GMC’s core guidance.

UHS is responsible for the revalidation of 570 consultants, 35 staff and associate specialist doctors and 110 doctors at clinical fellow and trust doctor level, but before the programme’s introduction, there was no set appraisal format and many were not fed back into a central system.

After being appointed appraisal lead by medical director Dr Michael Marsh in early 2011, Dr Stubbing introduced regular group meetings with appraisal leads to discuss issues, share best practice and feedback to the medical director.

He also led the creation of an online package which includes information about the appraisal process, colleague and patient feedback, downloadable GMC documents and a supporting information checklist.

“Revalidation will revolutionise patients’ understanding and awareness of the quality of their doctors, providing them with the confidence that their doctor is safe, up to date and fit to practise,” said Dr Stubbing, who directly trained 79 members of the assessment team.

“This is a major development in terms of helping the public have a much clearer insight into the scrutiny doctors are placed under to ensure the highest possible standards of care and it is testament to the vision of this trust that Southampton is at the forefront of implementation.”

Posted on Friday 26 October 2012