The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has launched a survey asking nurses and midwives about their current appraisal processes and how they'd like to see them developed for the future.
The survey, launched at the NHS Employers Conference in Birmingham and available on the NMC website, is an initial scoping exercise forming part of a major undertaking to develop a system of revalidation whereby nurses and midwives provide evidence of their continuing fitness to practise.
The White Paper, Trust, Assurance and Safety – The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century, endorsed the findings of the Foster Review, The Regulation of the Non-Medical Healthcare Professions, that revalidation is necessary for all health professionals as it will enhance public protection by ensuring that health professionals in clinical practice are up to date and fit to practise.
The NMC is part of the nonmedical working group which was established to take forward the recommendations of the White Paper and includes all nine UK healthcare regulators as well as other key stakeholder groups. It set out the principles for revalidation to help the regulatory bodies for nonmedical healthcare professionals develop proposals for revalidation including the systems and processes and to provide advice on the piloting required.
NMC project lead and professional adviser, David Hutton, said: "Nurses and midwives make up the largest part of the regulated health professionals working within the NHS so it's important that we engage with them at an early stage at the NHS Employer's conference and throughout the project.
"We want to hear from nurses and midwives at all levels, not only from the NHS but from the independent sector care sector and the third sector. This survey will help to give us an idea of what's currently happening in this area and what they would like to see happening in the future."
What do you think about your current appraisal process? Would you like to see changes?
Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"I am a senior practice nurse and have worked at this practice for 20 years. I have an appraisal yearly by the senior GP who keeps up to date with nursing and medical changes. He encourages me to identify any training needs and this is true for all the staff and he is happy to pay for the training if funding is not available. I am very fortunate in all of this, because my other practice nursing colleagues tell me similar stories to the above comments. We also get rewarded with a bonus each year
when the practice has achieved good QOF points." - Janet Walker, East Sussex
"Current appraisal process as a senior practice nurse (sigh!), is done by a non-nursing manager and on this occasion an employing GP who has no insight into changing nursing boundaries or interest in professional development or what is going on in other practices. (He is still using written notes!). Move jobs you may suggest? Well, no! This my eighth post in as many years (though I have stayed here four) and in my experience as a practice nurse, there is no outside support to help me develop my practice. I love the job, but the politics and power sharing is dreadful, where we have one health professionals professional development dependent on the views of a different profession entirely. If we were building a house, would the plumber who bought the land direct the electrican he employs how to do his/her job?
I think many nurses are not appraised, or are appraised as a token gesture as a lip service exercise. I think in my field of work, it would be extremely useful to have a 'kick in the butt' body that would provide an experienced and knowledgable nurse and forward-thinking GP to be paid to circuit round others to make sure all toe the line so employers, managers, employees are neither left sitting on their haunches, nor left frustrated in either direction." - Name and address supplied
"Unfortunately, the existing PDP, although good in principle, does not work owing to many constraints, such as money, time, staff levels and the expectations of managers. There are too many changes occurring without any consolidation within professional practice which is extremely sad and there is a definite effect on morale owing to continual change within the NHS." - Carol Young, East Lothian
"The appraisal process appears to be about mangament ticking boxes and not about the nurse's/practitioner's need to progress. Once you identify what is needed to progress then the rest is up to you and the trust is not obligated to fulfill your needs to move forward in your career. It also helps when someone who is apprasing you understands your role and what the
professional guidelines are." - Jackie Hutchinson, Durham
"I work for SSAFA: the PDP programme was supposed to meet all our needs. It was strongly impressed upon us to keep our portfolios up to date to validate our practice. My last appraisal was March 2007. I have repeatedly asked my Enhanced Primary Care Nurse for some of her time - I even turned up one day with my hard copy etc - but she had gone to a meeting. Self-appraisal would be better - online form filling to meet someone's performance criteria. Total waste of time. Encourage good practice, lead a team dont patronise. My career is over I dont need some jumped up lazy manager telling me how to progress." - J McComasky, Germany
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