How we work with consultants & other independent medical practitioners

The consultants we work with are independent medical practitioners. They aren’t KIMS Hospital employees, but they are required to adhere to our policies and procedures when working with us.

We take the safety of our patients incredibly seriously. The Paterson Inquiry report (February 2020) made a series of recommendations to all independent healthcare providers on how we can communicate better with our patients about how we keep you safe. The information below serves as a guide to you, to explain how we select and carefully vet every consultant to the highest standards.

How consultants apply to work at KIMS Hospital

All of the consultants and GPs that work out of KIMS Hospital & Sevenoaks Medical Centre need to go through a strict application process to ensure they meet our standards of safety and care.

For the rest of this page, we will use the term “consultant” to include consultants, GPs and any other medical practitioner that must be granted practising privileges.

What are practising privileges?

When we are satisfied that a consultant has met all of the application criteria, we will grant them approval to work at our hospital. We name this approval “practising privileges”. These privileges are valid for two years, after which the consultant will need to go through an equally thorough renewal procedure.

How are practising privileges granted?

If a consultant would like to work at KIMS Hospital they will need to go through our application process. This process starts with a review led by our Medical Director. If the review team approve the consultant to move forward, they will attend an interview with our Medical Director. It is only then, once they are approved after interview, that they can begin the formal application process.

The application process covers everything we need to see in order to determine the suitability of a consultant. The process is very granular and digs into specific details about a consultant’s medical experience, training, qualifications, scope of practice, medical indemnity insurance and much more.

Medical Indemnity insurance
It is very important that each consultant working with us has insurance cover called medical indemnity. This is a policy that each consultant must take out which provides adequate compensation to patients in the unlikely event that harm is caused under a consultant’s care.

Once we are sure they can meet our standards, and we believe they will be a good fit for our hospital, we grant them practising privileges.

What is a scope of practice?

When a consultant joins our hospital, they need to provide us with a list of procedures they want to carry out. We expect the consultants to perform these procedures regularly at other hospitals, to make sure they meet the standards expected. If they don’t carry out a procedure very often, we won’t accept the procedure as part of their scope of practice, unless they can provide strong evidence that the procedure is effective for patients, and/or have a recommendation from our Medical Advisory Committee.

If a consultant working with us wants to perform a procedure that is not listed on their scope of practice, we will need to see evidence that they have performed a sufficient number of the procedure at other hospitals, before we allow them to do so at KIMS Hospital.

Every consultant’s scope of practice is available to all our staff at any time. It is important that our staff are empowered and encouraged to identify and raise concerns.

Revalidation

It’s important that all doctors licensed to practice in the UK and registered with the General Medical Council are both up to date and fit to practise. Every five years, they go through a thorough and rigorous process called revalidation.

The General Medical Council is the public body that maintains the register of medical practitioners in the UK.

Doctors must show how they meet the professional standards set out in the Good Medical Practice guidance by producing a portfolio of ‘supporting information’. As part of the process, doctors must engage in annual appraisals with a specially trained colleague known as an appraiser where they discuss and reflect on the doctor’s portfolio.

A Responsible Officer also reviews the information collected and, at the end of a revalidation cycle, will make a revalidation recommendation to the General Medical Council. The General Medical Council then makes the final revalidation decision.

Revalidation encourages doctors to reflect on their practice, identify things they are doing well and things they could improve. We also request sight of their annual appraisals and follow up on any areas of concern.

Download our Revalidation leaflet

Patient feedback

Patient feedback is an important part of revalidation and forms one part of a doctor’s supporting information portfolio.

Feedback is usually requested on the doctor’s behalf by an impartial third party. They will conduct a survey using a standard form, to collect feedback from approximately 35 patients chosen at random.

Compliments, comments & complaints

Feedback of all kinds is incredibly important to maintaining and improving the high level of safety & care we strive for.

You can visit our compliments, comments & complaints page to leave us feedback and read more about who you can contact if you have any further questions about how we keep