The Faculty of Homeopathy is now an official designated body for the revalidation of doctors. This follows the passing of new legislation relating to the professional appraisal of doctors drawn up by the Department of Health
Revalidation is the process by which the General Medical Council (GMC) confirms the continuation of a doctor's licence to practise in the UK, which is carried out by a designated body. Being on the GMC’s approved list of designated bodies is recognition of the Faculty’s professional standing and the culmination of the detailed work carried out over a number of years by Dr Sara Eames, Dr David Owen and Faculty Chief Executive, Cristal Sumner.
Faculty Council has appointed Dr David Owen as its Responsible Officer, who will oversee the appraisal processes and make recommendations to the GMC about revalidation of Faculty members. His responsibilities will include ensuring there is an integrated system for monitoring doctors’ performance, recognising good practice, and encouraging development and learning.
Becoming a designated body will primarily affect those members who are solely in private practice, as doctors have to be revalidated through their main places of work. Doctors who have attained their MFHom, or who are Specialist Registrants or Fellows, and practise privately with no NHS practice have a prescribed relationship with the Faculty and are able to select it as their designated body. Doctors from the above groups have already been contacted and to date it appears 24 members will seek revalidation through the Faculty, with this number expected to rise over the coming months.
Faculty President, Dr Sara Eames, said: “Gaining designated body status is a significant development as it goes some way towards ensuring medical homeopathy as a career pathway in the future. Inevitably it will entail extra work and responsibility for the Faculty, but I regard it as the sort of work we should be doing.
“One of the obligations which we now have as a designated body is to keep up-to-date records for all doctor members, regardless of their designated body, who have a prescribed connection to the Faculty. This is because an appraisal covers the entire scope of a doctor’s work and if there are any issues raised within the Faculty about a doctor's practice they have to be communicated to the appropriate designated body. This is only a formalisation of what we are meant to do anyhow under the guidelines for good medical practice.”
A network of appraisers from within the Faculty is being developed and an appraisers’ training day attended by a guest speaker from the GMC’s revalidation team has already taken place. The idea of arranging appraisal workshops for any members who may feel slightly intimidated by the revalidation process is also being considered.
The British Homeopathic Association has kindly provided a generous grant to assist the Faculty in setting up its processes, to fund training and to allow the Responsible Officer to attend meetings and give the necessary time to the important work of establishing an excellent appraisal and revalidation system.
All doctors are reminded that it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that they have an annual appraisal, and from 2013 this has to be done in accordance with the widely publicised Medical Appraisal Guidelines (MAG) which is based on the GMC’s Good Medical Practice. Any member seeking advice or further information on revalidation should contact Cristal Sumner or Dr David Owen using the dedicated revalidation email address: firstname.lastname@example.org