The GMC has made colleague and patient feedback a mandatory element of the supporting information required for the revalidation appraisal process. Currently, colleague and patient feedback must be collected by revalidating doctors once every five-year cycle.

There is the potential for patient feedback to be instrumental in informing the evidence base around a doctor’s professional status and fitness to practise. However, the process of collecting feedback is proving very difficult for some specialties, and where it is being collected, it is not always proving sufficiently reliable to be used as an effective measure of a doctor’s performance.

The Academy has set up a working group to consider the current challenges of, and significant barriers to, collecting patient feedback. The working group will focus on both the content of questionnaires currently given to patients as well as the process of collecting their feedback. The working group will also explore possible solutions to the barriers identified, including the development of alternatives to questionnaires.

The working group is chaired by Dr Ian Starke and is managed by Yvonne Livesey