We are temporarily extending the duration for Doctors to collect feedback from 8 weeks to 12 weeks as we support doctors during the current Covid-19 period. This will be applicable for newly initiated surveys and will not automatically be retrospectively applied to accounts, however Designated Bodies can action manual extensions as per the usual process
Until further notice, the Orbit360 Service Desk will be operating an email only service. For the latest updates, visit the Orbit360 homepage.
In light of the recent announcement, our offices in Rhondda Cynon Taf will be closed as of 6pm on Thursday 17th September 2020. Where possible, please do not post return forms to us, instead scanning these and returning them to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, if this is not an option please post the forms to us and we will retrieve these weekly from the local sorting office. This message will continue to be updated as the situation changes.
Orbit360 frequently asked questions
My feedback progress
No – you will need to create a separate account in order to use Orbit360. Once you are registered and initiate your survey, Orbit360 will check your credentials against Medical Appraisal Revalidation Sysytem (MARS) and General Medical Council (GMC) Connect. All roles you undertake can appear under this single login if you wish.
We recommend you use up to date browsers and operating systems when using Orbit360, using the latest versions is more secure and provides better compatibility with key features on the site. The recommended/supported browsers are;
|Internet Explorer 11+|
You may still be able to access the site on older browser versions but we cannot guarantee that all the features will work correctly or provide sufficient security. Please note that Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft and therefore some features in Orbit360 may not display correctly.
If you are a doctor with a prescribed connection in Wales you can initiate a survey directly from your Orbit360 account.
There will be a link from your Medical Appraisal Revalidation System (MARS) that will direct you to the Orbit360 homepage. Once you have logged in you should go to ‘Manage Feedback’ and select ‘Initiate Survey’.
Orbit360 allows you to complete your patient and/or colleague feedback at any point during your revalidation cycle. We recommend that you complete your patient and/or colleague feedback in plenty of time prior to your revalidation - you should ensure you allow sufficient time to discuss this at one of your annual appraisals. We suggest that this is around the middle of your revalidation cycle.
For ease, we recommend completing your patient and colleague feedback at the same time. However, Orbit360 allows you to undertake your patient and colleague feedback exercises at different times if required but only if your patient and colleague feedback are initiated separately.
You can only release your report once you meet the minimum thresholds for all surveys that you initiate.
If you do not see patients, you should contact your Designated Body prior to initiating your feedback.
When your request is automatically approved you are able to input your Supporting Medical Colleague (SMC) details and a list of colleagues. You will then be able to download your patient forms and relevant guidance.
If you do not meet the above criteria the request will be re-directed to your Designated Body to manually review. Please ensure your contact details are correct on the Orbit360 system.
We have taken the specialities from a pre-defined NHS list, if however your specialty is missing please contact us so we can rectify this.
If you do not see patients it may be appropriate for you to only complete colleague feedback. The General Medical Council (GMC) advise;
"If you don’t treat patients directly, you should think more broadly about who can give you feedback from the perspective of those you work for as a doctor. For example, clients, appraisees, customers, and recipients of reports you provide (who could be other doctors) or medical students. If you can collect feedback from these types of people, then you should.
If you are unable to collect patient feedback from either your patients directly or other alternatives, you must discuss this with your Responsible Officer".
To discuss this further you should contact your designated body.
Once your request to undertake patient feedback has been approved, you must download your patient feedback forms from Orbit360.
- Log in to Orbit360
- Select 'Manage Feedback' page
- Go to the 'Patient Questionnaire' tab
- Select 'Generate first 45 surveys'
- Download the surveys in English, Welsh, online codes or large print options. You should save the file or print the downloaded file straight away (the codes can be given out to patients, along with the survey link and then cross them off your list as codes cannot be used more than once)
- You should ensure you also download the Patient Guidance that patients should read prior to completing the survey
- Should you require additional forms/online codes, you can download these from your 'Manage Feedback' page
Doctors should not be able to view individual patient or colleague responses. In clinical settings the survey pack can be distributed by reception or other clinical staff. Wherever possible, the questionnaires should not be distributed directly by the doctor, however, in some settings the doctor may need to approach and distribute the survey themselves at the end of the consultation.
As individual completed questionnaires should never be seen by you, a method of collection should be devised so that an appropriate person (i.e.local survey administrator) will collect all surveys for return to Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW). We recommend that your administrator is an independent third party and not your Supportive Medical Colleague (SMC).
Check the Frequently Asked Questions for Local Survey Administrators.
No, please do not photocopy patient feedback forms. Each form contains a unique code that can only be redeemed once and therefore you must print each form from the downloaded file. If a form is photocopied, only the feedback on the first form returned could be used towards your feedback.
At any stage your can log in to your Orbit360 account to monitor the progress of your feedback responses via your progress bars. You will be able to see how many responses you have received, how many are outstanding (to meet the threshold) and how long you have remaining, this is available for both patient and colleague feedback via the progress bars on your 'Manage Feedback' page.
Only once your Supportive Medical Colleague (SMC) accepts your request will you be able to monitor the progress of your patient and/or colleague feedback.
Last updated 25/11/2020
Please ensure you keep a hard copy of the completed patient forms securely for 14 days. We may need to review the form if there is an issue with the scanning process.
The Revalidation Support Unit (RSU) will contact the doctor within 14 days if there is an issue with the electronic copy. If the doctor does not receive further correspondence within this time, the paper copies can be destroyed securely.
For colleague feedback, once this is has been submitted this will appear on your account immediately (if you are logged into Orbit360 you may need to refresh the page).
For patient feedback, if feedback is completed electronically using an online code, the number of responses will increase and show on your account immediately (if you are logged into Orbit360 you may need to refresh the page).
If feedback is completed on a paper form, these will need to be returned to the Revalidation Support Unit (RSU) via post or email – you can view guidance for this part of the process by looking at 'Who should facilitate/administer patient questionnaires' and 'How to return patient feedback forms'.
Paper forms are scanned into software which will transfer the data into an electronic format, the RSU will then check that the data has been transferred correctly. We aim to complete this process within 2 working days from when forms are received by the RSU, however, if a high volume of forms are received in the office it may take longer.
A partially completed form can be returned and included in your report. The forms are verified by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software and if a duplicate answer or non-response is found then this will be marked as ‘no response’ and show as no value on your report. For example; you receive 30 completed forms, but some forms are incomplete, the totals on your final report may not all add up to 30.
Blank patient forms cannot be included in your returned forms or your report.
If you have not received sufficient responses 8 weeks following the start of your survey, you will enter the below process.
Please note, you can see your end date under the 'Manage Feedback' page on Orbit360.
If you have any queries about being paused after the deadline, please contact your Designated Body.
Further information about what happens when you are paused can be found in question 'Can I pause/reset my patient and colleague feedback?'
Yes. You should download the first 45 surveys in English, Welsh, large print or online codes. You should save the file or print the forms straight away (the codes can be given out to patients, along with the survey link and then cross them off your list as codes cannot be used more than once). Please do not duplicate codes, a unique code will need to be given to each patient.
If you have extenuating circumstances (e.g. maternity leave or long-term ill health), you can request that your feedback exercise be “paused” – you should discuss this with your designated body who can advise what is suitable for your circumstances. Your initial survey ‘closing date’ can be found on the ‘Colleague Feedback’ and ‘Patient Feedback’ progress bars in the ‘Manage Feedback’ page of your Orbit360 account.
When pausing your survey;
- Your ‘closing date’ will be suspended. Once your feedback process is resumed your closing date will be extended - for example, if your process is suspended by 4 weeks your end date will extended by 4 weeks
- Any feedback responses you have received from colleagues or patients will be saved in your progress
- If a colleague or patient completes feedback while your survey is paused, this will be added to your progress. Where possible we recommend your survey remains ‘active’ if you anticipate you will continue to received responses
- Most functions will be locked, you cannot add additional colleagues, generate patient feedback forms or request your report is made available early to the SMC
- Your SMC will not be able to review or release your report while your feedback process is paused
- Once you want to resume your feedback, you should contact your Designated Body to do so.
- You can pause both, or individual feedback surveys – if you pause just your colleague feedback, you can still obtain patient feedback responses and colleague will not be able to provide feedback. If you pause just your patient feedback, you cannot download patient forms or obtain feedback but colleagues can still respond.
When resetting your account, all information will be lost.
Below is a list of functions outlining what you are able to do while your account is active or paused.
|I can select or amend my SMC||x|
|I can input a list of colleagues||x|
|I can download patient forms||x|
|I can scan completed patient forms to be uploaded to my profile||x||x|
|I see my patient/colleague progress via the progress bars on ‘Manage Feedback’ tab||x|
|I will receive email notifications||x|
|I can accept/decline a SMC request||x|
|I can see a doctors progress||x||x|
|I can approve a doctors colleague list||x|
|I can merge my SMC account with my active account||x||x|
|I can review a report and release it back to the doctor||x|
|I will receive notifications about the Doctor||x|
In addition to your Orbit360 account email, you may have acted as a Supportive Medical Colleague (SMC) for another doctor using a different email address.
Some doctors may prefer to keep these accounts separate, however, Orbit360 allows you to merge these if you prefer – see 'I have duplicate Orbit360 accounts, how do I merge these?'.
You’ll need to click on the ‘person’ symbol in the top right hand corner of Orbit360 and select ‘my account’. Please ensure you are logged into the account you wish to keep.
Under the heading “have a duplicate account?” please enter the email address for the account you wish to merge with. Orbit360 will search for this account and a message will appear. To confirm you should then select ‘submit merge request’, the request will then be sent to the Orbit360 team to review and approve – we aim to review these in 2 working days.
If your Designated Body and Prescribed Connection change during your feedback exercise, you can change this in the ‘Manage Feedback’ area on Orbit360. Click ‘change designated body’, select your new designated body and then ‘+ Change DB’ to confirm. This will automatically update your locality.
Once you change this, your new Designated Body will have access to your patient/colleague feedback progress, and your old Designated Body will no longer see you on their lists. You should ensure that your Prescribed Connection on GMC Connect, your Designated Body on MARS and Designated Body on Orbit360 are the same.
If you no longer work in Wales, please contact your Designated Body to discuss this.
If you encounter any issues when completing the feedback questionnaire, this may be because of your browser. If you have opened the questionnaire in a recommended browser but are still experiencing issues, please contact the Orbit360 team – DO NOT submit your responses if you are experiencing issues as these cannot be retrieved or changed once these have been submitted.
Supporting medical colleague, colleague and patients
The role of the Supporting Medical Colleague (SMC) in the process is to help you reflect on your feedback – both positive and negative. Your SMC must be a medical colleague and not a relative.
Your SMC will;
- Verify the list of colleagues that you have selected, you should ensure that the list represents colleagues from across your whole practice
- Your report will be released to the SMC prior to being released to you
- They should provide feedback to you on the report
- They will then release the report to you
You should choose colleagues to provide feedback from all areas of your practice. The General Medical Council (GMC) advise;
"You should think about the nature of your practice, including the teams with which you work and the organisational environments in which you practise. This should include peers, people you supervise, individuals who support your work and those who you interact or liaise with from other professions.
Your feedback should be gathered from colleagues who reflect the range of people who you work with, and not only other doctors. For example, this might include colleagues from other specialities, junior doctors, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, clinical directors, and management and clerical staff".
Your Supportive Medical colleague (SMC) can also be included in your colleague list to provide feedback, if you wish to do so.
You can find further instructions for administering colleague and patient questionnaires via the GMC.
If your Supporting Medical Colleague (SMC) is unexpectedly unable to continue in the role, you can request a new SMC via your Orbit360 account.
- If your SMC has not yet accepted/declined the SMC request, please contact the Revalidation Support Unit.
- If your SMC has already accepted the request, you can request a new SMC via Orbit360. Go to 'Manage Feedback' and select 'Change SMC'. You can then input the details of your new SMC. This change is not made immediately, this triggers a notification to the Revalidation team in your Designated Body who will review this. They will then accept or reject the change.
Any queries in relation to this can be directed to your Designed Body.
Last updated 25/11/2020
The feedback process is completely anonymous and therefore you cannot identify which colleagues have/haven’t responded or who has declined to take part. Orbit360 will automate weekly reminders to your colleague list which only cease if;
- The colleague completes the feedback questionnaire
- The colleague declines to take part
- Your feedback exercise is completed
You can monitor the progress of your feedback or make amendments via the ‘Manage Feedback’ screen on Orbit360, here you can see how many responses you have received and how long you have left before your survey is due to finish.
You can add additional colleagues at any point once your initial list has been approved by your Supportive Medical Colleague (SMC) by clicking ‘+Add more colleagues’.
Last updated 25/11/2020
We follow the GMC guidelines to determine the number of responses required to generate a meaningful report. For each report per revalidation cycle you’ll need to collect a minimum of 15 colleague responses and 34 patient responses.
If you have any extenuating circumstances that may affect your ability to reach this number, please contact the revalidation team at your Designated Body to discuss this.
You can request that your Supportive Medical Colleague (SMC) review the report earlier than your closing date if you have met your patient and/or colleague thresholds.
All initiated survey thresholds must be met (i.e. if you have initiated both patient and colleague surveys, you must meet the threshold of both before you can request this) and a ‘Request report from SMC’ button will appear under your progress bars. Please note that once you request this, your feedback process will cease and you will not be able to gather are further feedback.
You don’t have to do this, you can wait until your closing date to obtain more feedback from patients and/or colleagues if you wish. The report will automatically go to your SMC for review on your closing date and all outstanding colleague/patient surveys will cease.
Once you receive your completed report, please see FAQ ‘what do I do when I have received my completed report’.
Your completed report will be available to download, go to 'completed reports' from the Orbit360 menu.
Once you have the completed report, you should create a ‘Feedback’ entry onto Medical Appraisal Revalidation System (MARS), upload your report and reflect on the feedback you’ve received. The most important part of the exercise is the reflection, planning for change and need for development aspects which only come after the completed report.
Your report will be available to review/download from Orbit360 - once logged in, you should go to 'Completed Reports' on the left hand menu.
Orbit360 is a new system launched in January 2020, initially we will be benchmarking your data on an all-Wales basis.
Once we have gathered sufficient data we will also provide benchmarking against speciality, this will be visible in your completed report once available.
The free text section on the patient feedback forms is automatically read by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, this is then manually verified by the Orbit360 team. We do our upmost to ensure that comments are transcribed accurately, however, in some cases we may not be able to read a word or comment. In these cases, we will mark a word/comment that cannot be read as [illegible].
[sic] is used to indicate that something is incorrectly written/spelt and has been intentionally left as it was on the original form.
Any identifiable patient and/or doctor names that are not yourself are also omitted from a report and will be replaced with [name redacted].
Please collate the forms and return patient forms to us in one batch once sufficient forms have been completed. Ensure you do not send forms with staples, and where possible, the forms are double sided.
Paper feedback forms can be returned to us in 2 ways;
Via post to;
Revalidation Support Unit - Orbit360, Ty Dysgu, Cefn Coed, Nantgarw, CF15 7QQ
Via email to;
email@example.com – please ensure the scans are clear and the full form is visible in the picture. All QR codes on the forms must be straight and visible to ensure the forms reading software can allocate the forms correctly. If this is not done, we may need you to re-scan and re-send the forms to us.
Last updated 25/11/2020