A new study titled ‘GP appraisal: an evaluation of generational differences on the utility of GP appraisal’ published online in the Education for Primary Care Journal explores potential differences, between General Practitioners (GP) qualifying before and those after the introduction of NHS appraisals in the UK, on the utility of the appraisal process. Additionally, it studies the impact of appraisals on interaction with colleagues and patients.

Professor Kevork Hopayian, Academic Lead for the Master of Science in Family Medicine, is one of the authors of the study.  He noted that ‘a number of studies have previously been published on the benefits of GP appraisal. Ours is the first study that compares the views of doctors registered before and after the introduction of appraisals on various core elements of the appraisal process. Those GPs who participated in our study tended to agree that appraisals had a beneficial impact in the core areas investigated. However, there was a significant difference between generations: those registered before 1998 were less likely to find NHS appraisals beneficial. Both groups reported that preparation took up too much time. Furthermore, the impact of appraisals on interaction were evenly divided amongst appraisees, with the older cohort more likely to report negatively.  Our conclusion is that there is a generational difference amongst GPs in the perceived utility of NHS appraisal. Current plans to redesign the process to make appraisals less onerous will be welcomed by both groups.’

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