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Health News

Doctor appraisals too weak, say MPs

Plans for doctors to face annual appraisals to ensure they are fit to practise contain weaknesses, a group of MPs has said.

At present, doctors can go for their entire career without facing any formal assessment of their competency. But the General Medical Council hopes to change this by introducing yearly appraisals and more comprehensive meetings every five years.

Doctors will also be expected to demonstrate they meet clinical standards and have kept up to speed with the latest developments in their field, while appraisals will include feedback from patients and colleagues.

However, the Commons Health Committee said yesterday that detecting inadequate doctors was viewed as "almost an insignificant part" of the appraisal process, which could take the form of a "cosy chat".