360 multi-source feedback 360 multi-source feedback

Guide to collecting 360 multi-source feedback **Updated MAG 2020 Guidance**


In addition to your usual annual appraisal documentation, before our Responsible Officer can make his recommendation to the GMC you will need to ensure you have completed GMC-approved 360 colleague and patient feedback.


All doctors benefit from feedback from colleagues and patients (if they see patients) as part of their continuing professional development. As part of your evidence for revalidation, you are required to undertake both patient and colleague feedback exercises, compliant with GMC guidance, at least once in each five-yearly revalidation cycle.  This feedback should cover the whole scope of your work (and should relate to your UK practice).


What are the guiding principles for collecting feedback?


It is fundamentally important that feedback of all types should be collected, collated and reported in a way that is demonstrably free from bias. The results from the formal five-yearly GMC-compliant patient and colleague feedback exercise should be compared with peer group outcomes and your own pre-survey self-assessment. 


The most important aspect of feedback is your reflection upon the results and subsequent consolidation or implementation of changes as part of your personal development. Your willingness to gather feedback, place it in context and reflect on what it says about your practice has a greater importance than the content of the individual responses.


When presenting your formal five-yearly feedback, you may be asked to provide evidence that you have followed the guidance from the supplier of the feedback tool you use and that the tool is compliant with all aspects of GMC guidance.


Medical Appraisal Guide 2020


Although the Medical Appraisal Guide 2020 allows for the submission of supporting information in verbal rather than documentary form for at least this year, results from colleague and patient feedback exercises are the only pieces of evidence that MUST be submitted in digital format.


Responsible Officers are being encouraged to submit revalidation recommendations for doctors who may not necessarily be in the final year of their revalidation cycle if those doctors have already submitted a complete set of essential supporting information already.  The GMC have also pushed back all revalidation dates between 17 March 2020 and the end of June 2021 by one year, providing greater flexibility for both Responsible Officers and doctors (who now have an extra year to complete their feedback surveys).  Deferral of revalidation is encouraged where appropriate, to avoid putting doctors under greater pressure to complete a feedback exercise during the pandemic.


The GMC are due to publish revised patient feedback later this year which is likely to create greater flexibility with regard to the format and deployment of feedback exercises.


It is recognised most doctors are undertaking a mix of remote and face-to-face consultations and the latter can be complicated by the wearing of PPE.  For patients who may be less IT confident, responding to any form of patient feedback request following a remote consultation may be a challenge and therefore non-engagers may potentially bias the results.


It is highly likely that higher levels of anxiety and frustration amongst patients due to the effects of the Pandemic will be reflected in lower scores generally, however the narrative that accompanies the patient feedback rather than the scores generally provides the richness to inform a doctor's reflections.


The general advice to doctors about planning feedback exercises remains the same – if possible, to consider undertaking this in year three or year four to avoid potential unintended consequences that may arise from delay.


What are my options for obtaining the five-yearly MSF/PSQ?


  • Use a commercial organisation to administer and analyse a feedback tool that is compliant with GMC guidance, appropriate to your scope of work and accessible to the whole range of respondents.


  • Use the GMC questionnaires (available on the GMC website) and have them collated and analysed independently. If you use the GMC’s questionnaires it’s important you follow the accompanying instructions.


  • If using GMC questionnaires please also note the following key points:


  • You should not hand out questionnaires to patients yourself

  • You should not see individual responses

  • Responses must be collected independently of yourself, your appraiser and your Responsible Officer

  • You should use an independent survey company to process the responses

  • You should receive a personalised summary report of your feedback to reflect on.

What is your RO's advice? 


It is strongly recommended that you use an external GMC-compliant commercial organisation to administer and collate your main five-yearly MSF and PSQ exercises.


In addition, your RO recommends that a steer is given to all doctors to undertake their main five-yearly 360 feedback exercises during year 3 or 4 of their revalidation cycle, the aim being to minimise the need for GMC deferral requests due to omissions within doctors' supporting information.


Discussing your feedback with your appraiser


You will need to discuss the outcome of your feedback during your appraisal, so it's important that you complete your feedback and evidence of your reflections in advance of your appraisal date and include it when you submit your appraisal portfolio to your appraiser for review in advance of your meeting.


Advice for doctors who have a range of different roles


The latest RCGP guidance clarifies their view regarding feedback for doctors who have a range of roles in their scope of practice. If this applies to you, the RCGP states that you may choose to include feedback from all your roles in the one GMC-compliant formal feedback exercise required every five years, or you may choose to confine this exercise to your clinical practice and provide feedback from other roles (such as managerial, teaching or appraisal) separately.


The RCGP guidance also recommends that GPs should reflect on some form of feedback from patients and/ or colleagues every year.  This does not need to be formal feedback, compliant with all the GMC requirements, and may take a number of forms e.g. patient compliments, practice surveys, feedback from students or registrars etc. This more informal feedback can play an important role and be a useful tool for reflection and quality improvement activity.  


Collecting 360 feedback - real life case studies


It is acknowledged that collecting feedback can be challenging for some doctors.  The GMC has developed a number of case studies highlighting real examples of how doctors and organisations have overcome some of these challenges. You can access the case studies here.


If you're unsure about how to collect your 360 feedback then please get in touch with us so that we can help.