04 / 02 / 2009
NHS South West
Poole Hospital NHS Trust
This programme, pioneered by Poole Hospital NHS Trust, is aimed at providing consultants with a tool (360-degree feedback) to collect structured evidence from other healthcare professionals on their current performance, and to help them diagnose their individual development needs in a confidential and supportive environment.
Supported by external partners (King's House and 360 is Us Ltd), the medical directorate piloted a survey questionnaire based on the GMC's guidelines for good medical practice, the basis for the medical appraisal scheme introduced April 2001. Following refinements based on the pilot surveys with the directorate, 360-degree feedback was then offered on a voluntary basis to all consultants, resulting in a high take up.
Structured feedback was provided in report format, with one-to-one confidential facilitation support to identify personal development plans.
Benefits to staff:
- doctors have a tailored, diagnostic tool for personal development with practical help in developing plans
- doctors have tangible evidence for their revalidation
- staff have responded very favourably to using this tool for giving constructive feedback in a safe environment
Benefits to patients:
- the trust has been proactive in meeting its clinical governance responsibilities
- development actions based on individual feedback to doctors on performance and behaviours will lead to better patient care.
Improvements to team working (highlighted in the evaluation) should lead to improved care. 'The higher the levels of staff team working, training, development and appraisals, the lower the patient mortality' - Carol Borrill, commenting on the report 'Organisation, Management and Effectiveness in NHS Trusts' (Borrill C. & West J).
Other hospitals are about to start the same process in the next few months. A detailed article was published in the BAMM journal 'Clinicians in Management' in 2005.
The impact of this initiative was evaluated with a 50 per cent sample of the doctors who were surveyed, and a 20 per cent sample of staff who had given feedback. The evaluation was positive, and almost all doctors stated that they have included their reports in their portfolios of evidence for revalidation. The approach could be used anywhere in the NHS.
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