Back to the effects of taking down the site..
The NHS Appraisal Toolkit is the *only* place I, as a GP, would normally store most of the information I need for my annual Appraisal and keep for Revalidation (coming to all doctors sometime soon).
The GPs - and hospital doctors - affected are those who *have* to have an Appraisal before the end of the 2009/10 NHS year - i.e. 31.3.10.
If the site is unobtainable for any reason, there will be consequences for both the individual doctors *and* their Appraisers - both sets having to run to tight schedules at the end of the year.
As the GP interviewed said, this is stressful for all the doctors concerned, both appraisers and appraisees, but no risk to patients: the major complaint among GPs on different lists seems to be the failure to email the documentation needed when they request it.
After all, the numbers affected are relatively low - no more than 4/52ths of the doctors in the country (I am adding two weeks to allow for the doctors needing appraisal in the two weeks after 3.3.10: appraisers usually need two weeks to read through all the Appraisee's evidence).
Surely there must be a Disaster Plan covering this contingency?
Finally, this taking down of the site affects all doctors coming up for appraisal, not just GPs, and will no doubt be causing as much stress in hospitals as in General Practice - maybe more....