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Today we start a series of regular blogs to help doctors, nurses and appraisers to gain the most possible benefit from the appraisal and revalidation process.

Over the next few weeks I will cover some of the issues that I often get asked about in my role as one of the Appraisal Leads for NHSE Yorkshire and Humber, in particular questions about “What is good enough supporting information?”

We have just launched a community for appraisers and we'd like to invite any appraisers who want to join in the discussion following these blogs to join the community...

  1. Log in to your FourteenFish account, or register now if you don't have an account
  2. Visit the Communities area then go to communities open to membership requests
  3. Click the Appraisers community and then fill in the membership request form

?Communities allow groups of users to share useful resources through a shared library and to continue discussion through the forum, in effect becoming a knowledge network.

Work / leisure balance

Whilst we will cover thoughts on supporting information in the future, today I wanted to discuss a wider issue of support for the professions, as we seem to be experiencing an unprecedented amount of stress and low morale at the moment.

Many GPs are at the point of burnout; many nurses report feeling undervalued and many ROs that I appraise comment upon their own stress and that of their hospital consultants. There doesn’t appear to be an end to this pressure in the near future, in fact the recent statements about seven-day working only adds more pressure and upset at grass root level.  

Increasingly I find doctors want to discuss the pressure they are under and coping strategies

If we as individual appraisers cannot suddenly change government approaches what can we do? Well, despite several of our colleagues feeling appraisal and revalidation is becoming a “tick box” exercise most doctors we appraise value the chance to have a supportive discussion from a respected peer. The process of collecting and presenting their portfolio they may resent (hence we at FourteenFish have made this as easy as possible with our free app), but the face to face interview most appreciate. This face-to-face interview is a wonderful opportunity for the good appraiser to both constructively challenge the doctor/nurse but also to offer support. Appraisal is not a counselling session, nor is it an occupational health assessment, but increasingly I and my fellow appraisers are finding the doctors want to discuss the pressure they are under and possible coping strategies. If the doctor has declared a health issue that could affect patient care or if we as an appraiser feel that is a possibility then of course we have a duty to discuss it with the RO, but much more commonly the issue is simply one of needing to talk through how to cope with the increasing pressure they are experiencing.

To facilitate this discussion we have recently introduced on the health statement page an optional self assessment rating score for the doctor/nurse to complete in order to help open the discussion re work/leisure balance should they want to.

Work leisure balance

Our plan is to include a link to an appraisal resource page that will include tools such as in depth SEA templates, a stress score, and other useful resources.

Join the discussion

Please let us know whether you think you will find this a useful development either via the contact us form or via the Appraisers Community.

Four of my recent appraisals have discussed how they could leave the NHS or stop being a GP partner

Personally anything that can encourage the support of our peers is to be welcomed. I suppose I have been shocked by four of my recent appraisals having involved discussion of how the doctor could leave the NHS or at least stop being a GP partner. Two have since gone abroad, one given up his practice to become a locum and one has decided to wait and see if things improve. Surely appraisal should be part of the process to support doctors like these?

 


Dr John Bibby
Appraisal Director, FourteenFish


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