NHS Nottinghamshire County has become the first primary care trust to implement a system to manage GP appraisals and revalidation from business intelligence specialists 21C.

The business intelligence system gives the PCT quick and easy access to information on the number of GPs that are due for appraisal, how many appraisals are in progress and deadlines for completion.

21C said its solution enabled the PCT to leverage its knowledge bank, accessing information such as complaints or complimentary letters that could influence the outcome of the revalidation process.

Revalidation for all doctors is due to start in the second quarter of 2011 and all GPs will be revalidated over the following five years.

For most doctors, evidence used for annual appraisals will be used. But the GMC will assess performance through fitness to practise processes for those for whom it is not possible to make a revalidation recommendation.

Liz Heath, business manager of the medical director of NHS Nottinghamshire County said the biggest benefit of the 21C solution would be having one place to confidentially store and access intelligence on individual doctors.

She added: “It is our responsibility to check for early warning signs and ensure doctors and patients remain fully protected as well as operate efficiently as an organisation.

"By being the first PCT to adopt 21C’s solution we hope to be ahead of the curve in terms of preparedness and continue to offer the highest level of patient care.”

Dr Doug Black, medical director at NHS Nottinghamshire County, said it was highly important to oversee each doctor’s portfolio of evidence in an open and transparent way.

He added: “The appraisal process for GPs is rigorous and aims to quality assure GPs under revalidation.

"It is my duty to examine the doctor’s overall development and competence so that I can make a recommendation to the General Medical Council on a GP’s fitness to continue practising. Undoubtedly, this process will become much easier with the benefits offered by 21C’s solution.”

Paul Henderson, 21C’s chief executive officer, said: “Nottinghamshire County understands the laborious nature of the GP appraisal process and wanted to make it as simple a process as possible.

"By removing the manual work required and using electronic forms, the PCT can access information in real-time and make informed decisions quickly and efficiently – an essential requirement in this industry."