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What is 'revalidation' and how does it work?

Revalidation is the current system used to check that licenced doctors are fit for the job.

It requires doctors to demonstrate on a regular basis - usually every five years - that they are up-to-date through appraisals with their employer.

Members of the public can give feed-back in patient questionnaires, which are taken into account in these appraisals.

Revalidation started in December 2012 and the majority of licensed doctors are expected to be revalidated by March 2016.

Main findings of a survey of more than 5,600 doctors

Out of some 4,600 hospital doctors:

  • 53% disagreed that the current system of checks (known as revalidation) would help identify and deal with unfit doctors (22% agreed)
  • 86% agreed there are variations in care and that "there are certain doctors that I would not want to treat friends and family" (3% disagreed)
  • 38% said they did not agree that the benefits of revalidation would outweigh the admin time required for the process (18% agreed)

Out of some 1,000 GPs:

  • 60% disagreed that revalidation would work (16% agreed)
  • 67% agreed that there are certain doctors they would not want to treat friends and family (6% disagreed)
  • 63% did not agree that the benefits of revalidation would outweigh the extra admin (15% agreed)

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Survey: Doctors have little faith in system of checks

A survey of more than 5,600 doctors in the UK has found that only around one in five believe the current system of checks on incompetent colleagues, known as revalidation, is fit for purpose.

Only around one in five doctors have faith in the current system of checks, the survey found Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

More than 80% of hospital doctors and 67% of GPs also pointed to variations in care, saying there are certain doctors they would not want to treat their friends and family.

The survey, by doctors.net.uk for the Press Association, was carried out among more than 4,600 hospital doctors and a further 1,000 GPs.

It was timed to coincide with the anniversary on Monday of the death of Harold Shipman, the doctor who killed between 215 and 260 people over a 23-year period.

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Your views: Nursing shortages in NHS wards

We asked subscribers on the ITV News Facebook page their thoughts on nursing shortages in NHS hospitals and what experiences of patient care they have had.

I've just been in and had a major operation and the nurses were run ragged doing everything from changing beds to looking after me but I still got 100% care. I was lucky I was on a ward with only four beds.

– Maxine Creedon Barrett

I was at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich last week and on the chemotherapy ward where they only had two staff, and were run ragged. The nursing staff work extremely hard and very long hours!

– Hayley Brown

There are times when you only have one staff nurse to look after a whole ward in hospital, with maybe only two other health care assistants!!!

– Tracy Carr Washenry

Call for NHS to be more open after Stafford scandal

The Chairman of the Committee calling for all hospitals to publish nursing ward staffing levels on a daily basis has said that the Stafford hospital scandal must be an “electric shock” that galvanises the NHS to become more open.

Stephen Dorrell, who chairs the Health Select Committee, said the NHS need to increase awareness of patient care and staffing levels in hospitals.

It has been reported by The Times that the Chief Nursing Officer is preparing to issue guidance to hospitals after figures found that 413 wards routinely operated with low numbers of nurses.

Read: Royal College of Nursing 'concerned' at nursing shortfall

Royal College of Nursing 'concerned' at nursing shortfall

The Royal College of Nursing (RCNhas said it is "extremely concerned" over new analysis which shows that hundreds of NHS hospitals do not have enough nurses to care for patients properly.

Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN, told The Times:

What Jane Ball’s research has found is unacceptable and we should be extremely concerned about it.

In most place where there’s poor care it’s not because nurses are willfully negligent or unfeeling, it’s because there aren’t the numbers.

3,000 nurses from 46 hospitals were asked about conditions on their last shift as part of the three-year survey project by the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London.

Read: Nursing shortfall could 'lead to more patient deaths'

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