Faculty of Homeopathy – Appraisal and Revalidation Service
All doctors registered with the UK General Medical Council (GMC) need to hold a licence to practise if they wish to prescribe, sign death certificates, or perform certain specific roles for which a licence is required. Since 2013 doctors who wish to retain their license to practise are now required to go through a process called revalidation which is administered by designated bodies who are recognised by the GMC and include various organisations across the medical sector such as NHS trusts. The revalidation process includes an annual appraisal, collection of feedback from colleagues and patients at least once every 5 years, recording and reflecting on all continuing professional development (CPD) and significant events and covers various other elements of the GMC’s appraisal and revalidation framework.
Doctors who are members of the Faculty of Homeopathy who do not do any NHS sessions and for whom their employer is not a designated body have been able to have their annual appraisal and revalidation recommendations carried out by the Faculty since 2013.
The Faculty’s appraisal and revalidation service is led by our own Responsible Officer (RO). The appraisal and revalidation team also includes an Appraisal Lead (AL), who supports the RO and can deputise for the RO if required, and Revalidation Manager (RM).
The Faculty currently have trained appraisers across the UK and recruit more appraisers as required. If you are interested in applying to become a Faculty appraiser please email the revalidation team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Doctors who use this service are required to pay an annual appraisal and revalidation fee. This is in addition to their membership fee and current fees can be obtained from email@example.com Our fees are competitive with other Faculties and membership organisations.
You do not have to be a homeopathic doctor to use the revalidation service. Please contact the Revalidation Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any further information about the Faculty’s role as a designated body.
Faculty of Homeopathy Advice for those considering dropping License to Practise
Previously doctors who retired from conventional practice but wished to continue to see patients for homeopathy were forced to continue with their license, with all the added costs and revalidation commitments, in order to remain Faculty members. They could not join the retired group, as they were not fully retired. We also faced losing experienced doctors from the Faculty. We had a lot of feedback from members around this and myself, Peter Fisher, Gary Smyth, Sara Eames and members of a working group, looked into possible solutions over some time in 2017. The new category of MFHom , without GMC after the qualification in the directory, agreed at the AGM in 2018, enabled us to identify these doctors to public searching, (a GMC requirement), and to ensure that they were able to continue as part of our Faculty as a full member.
There are however several points that the Faculty wish to make members aware of when considering dropping license to practise.
- You should wherever possible drop your license while being in “good standing” with the GMC/your statutory body. This not only is a good start, going forward, but also means that it easier to pick up one’s licence to practise in the future if desired or necessary. When you are ready, you should then notify the GMC of your intention and ensure that they are aware of your wish to drop your license in good standing and check any further requirements that the GMC may have of you. We would also suggest that you maintain some sort of ongoing peer interaction and support. The Faculty is the ideal place to start for connections.
- It is vital to sort out appropriate insurance cover. You should therefore make arrangements to transition to an appropriate level of practice insurance which covers your new scope of work, while ensuring run off cover to cover any complaints made after you have ceased to have a licence to practise. (Medical Indemnity companies can provide this and will not provide it if you do not discuss this with them, agree appropriate cover and pay any required fee. Your new cover will generally not be retrospective.)
- As an example of good governance, the contact details of the Faculty, as your membership organisation, should be on your website and any patient material, especially related to your complaints procedure.
- The Faculty may be called on in any investigation, or complaint, to provide a statement on CPD and quality assurance. You are therefore referred to the Faculty CPD statement and the reasons for keeping up to date in your practice and recording this so that it is readily available as needed.
- The Faculty, as your membership organisation is also keen to support you in your clinical governance and has a variety of ways and people who can support you in this. We are happy to have discussions with you about consideration of dropping license at any stage. A good place to start is via our appraisal lead or your profession representative.
- The Faculty will only focus on your homeopathic work and help to offer CPD and quality assurance, as well as a complaints procedure for patients. If your scope of work includes other areas e.g. acupuncture, hypnotherapy etc., the requirements of the appropriate membership or representative bodies will be similar, but not necessarily identical.
It is important to point out also, that one needs to be aware when dropping license to practise that you need to make it plain to patients via all communications, including website, that you are not a licensed doctor and therefore are not "licenced to practise medicine". This includes certifying death, prescribing prescription only medicines or carrying out procedures that may be interpreted as treating patients medically. It is a grey area for the GMC and we want to be sure that members are fully aware of the implications. Many doctors may find it difficult to change how they view patients having been a fully licensed practitioner. However, practising homeopathy does not require a license to practice at present. We can put you in touch with members who have been through the process who can advise you of their experience.
One member added the following advice:
-have a visible sign in the waiting room, website and stationery advising "Retired from GMC registration". This avoids the impression of being forcibly deregistered.
-do not venture a medical diagnosis. If required, a written statement of symptoms and possible diagnosis to discuss with the patient's GMC registered medical attendants would be helpful and not an exercise in actual diagnosis.
Reference also Faculty’s CPD policy