The IDF was started in 1989 under the name Independent Doctors Forum and it incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1992. It was set up by a group of conscientious, like-minded and enthusiastic doctors working full time in the independent sector, who felt a platform was needed for open discussion, voicing ideas and exchanging views.

Since that time the IDF has grown in stature and significance and has taken on roles which far exceed the boundaries initially envisaged. This has been particularly true with the introduction of appraisal and revalidation and its implications for member doctors. It is also lobbying hard to make sure that the voice of the independent sector is heard within government, DOH, GMC, CQC.

Although aptly describing the initial aims of the group it was felt that the word Forum no longer fitted with the IDF’s changing role and at a General Meeting held on 11th June 2009 members voted to change the company name from Independent Doctors Forum to Independent Doctors Federation.

Membership of the IDF currently stands at just over 1200 – these are all GMC registered doctors in Independent Practice. Members are currently split 2/3 Consultants; 1/3 GPs. They also have 58 corporate sponsors.

The Independent Doctors Federation and Step into Practice have a close relationship with one another, hosting educational events together to provide doctors all around the country business education, as well as access to a wider network of doctors.

The IDF can provide to its members:

  • Appraisal and revalidation services
  • Clinical education
  • Networking events
  • An independent Complaint Resolution Procedure for member doctors
  • Mentoring help for those new to independent practice
  • An Executive Committee that lobbies parliament, government organisations, insurance companies and regulatory authorities on behalf of its members