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Table 1 Current GP peer review/appraisal

From: Can GPs working in secure environments in England re-license using the Royal College of General Practitioners revalidation proposals?

• Annual peer review was introduced for GPs in 2002
• These practitioners are obliged to register with a primary care organisation’s performer’s list
• The overall responsibility of a primary care organisation is to ensure the health needs of its local population are met
• One function of a primary care organisation is to administer an annual peer review for qualified doctors on its performer’s list
• GPs comprise GP principals and sessional GPs. GP principals are community based and contracted by NHS primary care organisation commissioners to provide general medical services for a registered community population. Sessional GPs (salaried GPs and GP locums) are employed by GP principals or other health service providers to deliver primary care treatment to a given population and are sub-contracted for a number of sessions per week (one session = one-half day of clinical practice).
• GPs are encouraged to prepare evidence of good practice on an electronic toolkit and/or paper documents to discuss at their annual review
• A GP’s evidence can be structured under the seven headings of Good Medical Practice[6] (the profession’s code of practice) headings of good clinical care, maintaining medical practice, teaching and training, relationships with patients, working with colleagues, probity and health
• The appraisal documentation is supported by clinical governance information
• Peers are trained by the primary care organisation to act as GP appraisers to further develop.
• GPs are obliged to change their GP appraiser every two – three years.