Confidentiality

The appraisal interview is confidential except where any serious issues of patient safety arise.

Appraisers are obliged to respect the confidentiality of appraisal discussions. The only exception to this is where issues are raised which, under the obligations of the GMC, mean that confidentiality must be breached in the interests of patient safety. In such a case, appraisal information would only be shared with the appropriate authorities, and only to the extent necessary to protect patient safety.

Appraisers are required to outline their responsibilities relating to confidentiality at the start of each interview as follows:

  • An agreed summary of the appraisal will be created (Form 4) and this will be available to future appraisers, the Appraisal Adviser/Lead and the Responsible Officer.
  • The Responsible Officer, or their delegated representative, may request access to all the documentation relating to an appraisal in order to obtain the necessary information to make a recommendation to the GMC regarding the revalidation of the doctor's licence to practice.
  • The GMC may request access to all the documentation relating to an appraisal in order to obtain the necessary information to make a decision regarding the revalidation of the doctor's licence to practice.
  • In the event of serious concerns regarding patient safety, as a result of an appraisal interview, an appraiser may wish to consult with the Appraisal Adviser/Lead and/or Medical Director regarding the appropriate course of action. The appraisee will be informed if the appraiser believes this to be necessary. In this situation information which was disclosed during the appraisal may be passed on to the appropriate authority, if it is deemed necessary.

On SOAR, the appraisee is required to accept the terms as outlined above before the interview can take place.

Please visit the NES Data Protection and Confidentiality for further information.

General Points about Confidentiality:

An appraiser will not disclose any information obtained through an appraisal to other appraisees.

An appraiser may discuss a general issue in confidence with their Appraisal Adviser/Lead in order to seek help and advice in supporting their appraisee. Where the appraiser feels an appraisee could be identified because of local knowledge, there is provision for them to seek general advice confidentially and anonymously outwith the area.

Where an appraiser does feel obliged to breach the confidentiality of the discussion because they are concerned for patient safety, they will seek to discuss the issues with the appraisee prior to the disclosure wherever possible. The disclosure would be made in confidence to their Appraisal Adviser/Lead who would refer on to the local Medical Director or other appropriate body.

Related Documents

Data Protection and Confidentiality | File Size: 88 KB | Date Updated: 31/01/2014

Guidelines for Medical Appraisers, Local Appraisal Advisers and Local Appraisal Leads employed under the Medical Appraisal Scheme in Scotland



This page was last updated on: 15/05/2015