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Accreditation of Practitioners with a Special Interest (PwSI)

Guidance for assessment & accreditation

Directions for PwSI accreditation came into force on 1 June 2007.

They outlined the PCT's responsibilities to have regard to the provisions of the guidance when commissioning, assessing or accrediting any service provided by a GP or pharmacist with a special interest. PCTs were instructed to comply with these directions by 1 April 2009.

Responsibility for making most of the key judgments described in this guidance rested with a small group of accreditors, which should be a subset of the PCT. It was critically important the group included the appropriate level of skills and experience to enable it to discharge its responsibilities effectively. It was acknowledged that there were likely to be development needs both initially, to set up accreditation processes, and on an ongoing basis, and that these must be supported by commissioners in order to deliver accreditation effectively.

Local communities would make their own decisions about exactly how to do this, but as a minimum the group should include:

  • a senior commissioner
  • a senior professional representative from the Local Medical Committee (LMC), Professional Executive Committee (PEC) or Local Pharmacy Committee (LPC), PCT Lead Pharmacist or a GP from the local faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)
  • a lay person
  • a senior clinician, ideally the local lead clinician from within the relevant specialty

The Royal College of General Practitioners' website offers further information and guidance.

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