The government and the GMC have both recently been putting out a fair bit of propaganda about revalidation, with Hunt and Dickson both stepping up to pontificate about how this will vastly improve the quality of medical care. I’m not really sure who this propaganda is aimed at. The impression I get from my lay friends and former patients is that they don’t really know or care about revalidation, and if you google “patient satisfaction” you find such a consistently high level of happy punters that you wonder what the powers that be think they are going to achieve.
So perhaps the propaganda is aimed at the medical profession. If it is then they’re wasting their time. Peruse the medical blogs and speak to your colleagues and you find a strong consensus that the whole process is a bag of shit. A pointless, oppressive, time wasting, expensive exercise that is nothing more than a further attempt to intimidate and control doctors.
Even if the process were to be administered by a competent and well regulated body it would still be a bag of shit. The fact is though, that it is to be administered by the GMC. Widely perceived, with good reason, as incompetent, inconsistent, overbearing, arrogant and out of touch. The point has been made also that they are answerable to no-one. Their own performance in revalidating will be unmonitored, unassessed, and unregulated. They will be able to act pretty much as they please. For any unfortunate doctor who is unhappy with their verdict there does not appear to be any appeal mechanism.
Putting together the inherently flawed process and the all powerful GMC is a recipe for disaster. Just about the only people who can’t see that are Jeremy Hunt, a politician who believes in homeopathy, and Niall Dickson of the GMC.
"The Emperor is wearing no clothes"
I’ve pointed out before that we have only ourselves to blame for this imposition. If the profession had stood up and simply announced that every one of us would boycott the process, then revalidation would have sunk without trace. But I’ve also pointed out that we, as a profession, don’t seem to be able to organise ourselves.
So all we can now do is sit back and wait for the inevitable.