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Independent Doctors Federation (IDF)

The Independent Doctors Federation (IDF) represents and gives voice to UK independent doctors in all matters relating to private medicine, education and revalidation.

Originally called the Independent Doctors Forum, the IDF was founded in 1989 by a group of doctors who worked full time in the independent sector to provide a platform for open discussion, voicing of ideas and exchange of views. As more roles and responsibilities were adopted over the years, such as appraisal and revalidation of members and lobbying on behalf of the independent sector, the decision was made in 2009 to rename the company the Independent Doctors Federation.

Currently representing over 1100 GMC-registered doctors in Independent Practice, the IDF has close links with the British Medical Association, Care Quality Commission, Department of Health, General Medical Council, Royal Colleges and all the major private insurance companies and private hospitals. It also has representation on the BMA Private Practice Committee and the RCGP Revalidation Stakeholders Committee.

The membership of the IDF is currently two-thirds consultants and one-third general practitioners. There are also 49 corporate sponsors. The organisation is run by a council comprising 24 elected and co-opted member doctors and an elected corporate representative. A number of committees report into the council. All council members and committee members work on a voluntary basis, with the exception of the Responsible Officer, who is paid a salary.

The charitable arm of the IDF, the IDF Education Trust, plays an active role in the promotion and preservation of health and in health education, offering lectures, symposiums and an annual overseas study weekend. The possibility of instigating a Medical Graduate Training programme for students from Buckingham University is also being explored.

The IDF operates a system of appraisal and revalidation for its members, which is based on the NHS model and recognised by the GMC. With many of its members working both in the NHS and in the independent sector, the aim of the IDF is to work in harmonious co-existence with the NHS and to offer patient choice.

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