A support service has been launched in London to offer assistance to doctors at all stages of their careers ahead of revalidation, which is due to begin later this year.

The London Deanery’s professional support unit has been contacted by 143 doctors in its first month of operation. It aims to support 1,000 doctors and dentists in its first year of operation.

Although many deaneries offer support to trainees, London is the first to bring all of its professional support together in one place and offer that to clinicians at all stages of their career.

The unit is open to doctors and dentists working in the capital on a self-referral basis and can offer expert training, advice, and mentoring, as well as help with communications, linguistics and pyschological support.

It will also offer support after General Medical Council and National Clinical Assessment Service assessments. It will further appraise performance and devise development plans.

Julia Whiteman, director of appraisal, revalidation and performance at London deanery, told HSJ: “The drivers for making it happen are the changes we are seeing in the workforce, who have also been expected to do much more in terms of clinical leadership with the development of integrated care pathways. And we also have revalidation coming around the corner.

“We wanted to make sure the workforce we have is able to deliver. If you trained 10 years ago, the way you were trained would have been very different to the way you are expected to work now.”

She added: “In London specifically we are a very cosmopolitan society and the profession reflects that. We need to make sure clinicians who come here to work are supported and have the skills they need, including the necessary language and communication skills.”

Under the system of revalidation, doctors must renew their licence every five years, showing evidence of learning.