A guide for our patients about Revalidation - working with your hospice doctors to ensure the quality of our patient care.

All doctors are required by the General Medical Council to demonstrate that they are providing good care for their patients in order to maintain their registered license to practice in the UK. This process is called Revalidation and as a patient under the care of the hospice you play an important part.

If you have been asked for feedback about the care and treatment you've received from your doctor, please do try to take part - your views do make a difference. Your doctor wants to know what you think as your feedback helps them look at how they can improve the care they give but also highlights and reinforces what they are doing well. This process is done anonymously and no identifiable information about you should be collected.

Please click on the and expand the series of questions below for more information.

Revalidation is a process where all General Medical Council registered doctors, who are licensed to practice in the UK, must demonstrate on a regular basis that they are up to date and fit to practice.

The aim of this process is intended to make sure that every doctor reflects upon comments received from patients and colleagues during the previous year, and if necessary to take steps to improve their medical practice. It is therefore very important to us to have a means to be able to capture the views and experiences of our patients about our doctors.

Doctors must show how they meet professional standards set out in the Good Medical Practice guidance by producing a portfolio of supporting information. This might include:

  • Feedback from their patients and from people they work with
  • What they have learnt from training they have completed
  • What they have learnt if something has gone wrong
  • Any complaints they have received and what was done to address this

As part of the process doctors engage in annual appraisals with a specially trained colleague, also known as an appraiser, where they discuss and review their portfolio of information.

A Responsible Officer, who is an experienced senior doctor, also reviews the information collected and comments made by the doctors' appraiser.

At the end of a Revalidation cycle, usually every five years, the Responsible Officer will make a revalidation recommendation to the General Medical Council [GMC], an organisation responsible for regulating all licensed doctors in the UK. The GMC then make the final Revalidation decision.

Revalidation gives confidence to patients that their doctor is being regularly checked by a senior doctor and by us. This process helps doctors to improve their pratice and ensures quality of care but also enables us to address any concerns or issues.

Patients are an important part of Revalidation. Your doctor wants you to share your experiences of being cared for, so they know how they are doing. You might not be able to assess your doctors' medical skills but you can say, for example, how well they listened to you or how they went about explaining what they were doing and why. 

Doctors must present a portfolio of supporting information as part of the Revalidation process and this includes patient feedback. 

Patient feedback is usually collected by surveys or questionnaires but can also include personal letters or cards. For Revalidation patients are also randomly selected to take part in the collection of supporting information about a specific doctor over a set period of time. Therefore, if you are asked it is extremely appreciated if you are happy to take part. 

Please remember that the feedback you will be asked for will be on an individual doctor and therefore needs to be specific to them and not another practitioner or the hospice generally. However, patients can give feedback, whether positive or negative, at any time.  

Our patients and your wishes are our priority. If you are asked to provide feedback about an individual doctor as part of their Revalidation cycle, and you would prefer not to, then please be assured you are under no obligation. 

If you have consented for your carer and/or family member to speak on your behalf we will also be guided by their instruction. 

Be honest: Honesty is always the best policy. Your feedback is only useful if it's honest and helps your doctor understand what they can do to be a better doctor; or indeed what they are doing that is right. Tell your doctor what they do well so they can keep doing it and as equally important is to tell your doctor what you would like them to improve on. 

Explain your score: You'll be asked to score your doctor on different aspects of their care. Giving more information in the comments box is important, particularly when you have given a low score. It will help your doctor understand your feedback. 

Give examples: Say what your doctor did rather than making general comments. For example, instead of writing 'I didn't understand', try 'I didn't understand because you used lots of medical words that didn't mean anything to me'. 

You can find out more about giving feedback to your doctor on the GMC's website: www.gmc-uk.org/patientfeedback

The information you share whether it is a formal complaint or feedback collected for Revalidation will remain anonymous

The information that you provide about an individual doctor will be collected with the feedback from other patients anonymously. This will form part of the supporting information for that individual doctor's Revalidation cycle. 

Those involved in the Revalidation process are interested in the information you have shared and not who you are. You should not be asked to provide identifiable information such as your name or address when you provide feedback. 

Your feedback, whether positive or negative, is invaluable to us. As repeated in this section we are committed to ensuring we are able to provide the very best standards in care. We can only achieve this by constantly evaluating those standards and feedback from our patients on what we are doing well and should therefore be doing more of or, equally, where we need to improve, is an essential part of our programme of continual professional development.

This section of the website is to provide information about our doctors' Revalidation process but we welcome your feedback at any time.

You can read more about our Compliments and Complaints procedure by clicking here.

Healthwatch England
National consumer champion in health and care. Able to offer advice and put you in touch with your local Healthwatch.

W: www.hwalthwatch.co.uk
T: 0300 683000
E: enquiries@healthwatch.co.uk

NHS England
W: www.england.nhs.uk/about
T: 0300 3112233
E: england.contactus@nhs.net

General Medical Council 
W: www.gmc-uk.org
T: 0161 9236602

Health Service Ombudsman
W: www.ombudsman.org.uk
T: 0345 0154033

Care Quality Commission [CQC]
W: www.cqc.org.uk
T: 03000 616161
E: enquiries@cqc.org.uk

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