18 / 7 / 2013 3.34pm
Guidance for employers on sharing information about healthcare workers has been produced in partnership with the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS). This document outlines a set of key principles for employers to consider in relation to the sharing of relevant information between the private and public health sectors, when the conduct or performance of a healthcare worker comes into question, and a substantiated risk to patient or public safety has been identified.
Healthcare workers who are a cause for concern can sometimes go undetected by moving between organisations before those concerns can be verified and acted upon. Where this happens, the risks posed can be very serious and this needs to be addressed.
While not intended to introduce new measures, this guidance document specifically focuses on strengthening existing policy and legislative levers, and includes a number of tools to help employers ensure that workable measures are introduced within their organisations which facilitate the sharing of relevant information in the interest of patient and public safety. Further information about this guidance can be found here.
“Patients and the public put their trust in the professionals who care for them. As employers, we have a responsibility to make sure those standards of care are the best they can be. Healthcare workers whose standards are a cause of concern, can sometimes go undetected by moving between organisations before concerns are verified and acted upon. This is a risk we want to minimise, and we know employers will take swift action to curb any harm to patients that could arise as a result. By helping employers improve the way they share information about the performance of staff, we can help reduce the risk of exposing patients to substandard levels of care. That is something which employers in public, private and voluntary sector can all sign up to.”
Dean Royles, Chief Executive of NHS Employers
'Employers in the independent sector which we represent welcome this guidance, the results of which will be improved patient safety. Independent hospital are providing a very full range of services and the importance of the appropriate sharing of information about the performance of staff cannot be over emphasised.'
Sally Taber, Director of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services, a division of the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations
This guidance is also supported by health unions, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
"The RCM welcome the publication of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service and NHS Employers Guiding Principles for sharing information on healthcare workers. We see this as an important and key document for healthcare organisations to access when considering the sharing of personal data across organisations."
Jacque Gerrard, RCM Director for England
Further information can be found here.