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Assessment and intervention

Assessment and intervention

Our assessments help to clarify and understand the performance of individual practitioners, and provide the healthcare organisation and practitioner with a sound basis upon which to bring the case towards a resolution.

Our assessments are aimed at:

  • supporting the local management and implementation of timely and fair management solutions to resolve concerns about performance
  • enabling practitioners to return to safe and effective practice, where appropriate
  • helping to ensure public protection and patient safety.

The exact type of assessment we carry out will be dependent on the circumstances of the case. The types of assessment we offer include the following:

Clinical performance assessment

The purpose of this assessment is to:

  • provide an independent view on the clinical performance of the practitioner, identifying both satisfactory practice and any areas of poor practice.
  • provide information to assist the referring organisation in decisions about the next steps in their management of the case.

The assessment is carried out through a clinical assessment visit by a trained team of assessors, supported by an Assessment and Intervention Manager. It includes:

  • Clinical record review: of a sample of patient records.
  • Direct observation of practice: the practitioner’s normal clinical work.
  • Case-based assessment: exploring clinical reasoning and decision-making about the practitioner’s own cases.

The assessors will have relevant clinical experience in the practitioner’s specialty, be familiar with the standards relating to that specialty and be able to apply them to assess the performance of a peer. Our assessments are underpinned by a range of quality assurance mechanisms to ensure that we continue to provide an expert and high quality service.  The result is a comprehensive report with fair, robust and evidence-based findings and conclusions in respect of the individual’s practice, which provide the basis for a clear way forward to bring the case towards a resolution.

Behavioural assessment

The purpose of this assessment is to:

  • provide an independent view on the behavioural characteristics of the practitioner, including any areas which require consideration.
  • provide information to assist the referring organisation in decisions about the next steps in their management of the case.

Where the concerns about an individual practitioner primarily focus on their behaviours and relationships with colleagues, and where there is not misconduct requiring the use of disciplinary procedures, we may offer to undertake an assessment of the practitioner’s behaviours.

The assessment includes:

  • The practitioner completing two online psychometric questionnaires (the Revised NEO Personality Inventory and the Hogan Development Survey).
  • The practitioner attending an all-day appointment with a behavioural assessor (an occupational psychologist). The day involves  an in-depth interview, during which the assessor explores a range of aspects of the practitioner’s work, including: what they do in their job, which aspects they enjoy most and least, how they approach the different aspects and demands of their role etc. This typically lasts three to four hours. There is then a break (during which the psychologist reflects on the interview) and then gives initial feedback to the practitioner.

Assisted mediation

To help support the resolution of relationship difficulties between healthcare professionals, we also offer assisted mediation. Assisted mediation is an independent, voluntary and confidential process in which two accredited mediators work with the parties concerned to create a mutual understanding of the issues and to find a way forward that enables a more effective professional working relationship.

Our mediators, most of whom are also Advisers for the service, share their experience of what is realistically likely to work and can also signpost parties to other interventions, which may also be helpful.

The aim of the assisted mediation service is to enable a more professional working relationship between both parties, which leads to a positive impact on the immediate team and ultimately better patient care.

Where we have offered to undertake an assessment or other intervention, we will only proceed with the explicit agreement of both the practitioner and their healthcare organisation.

Consideration of assessment policy statement

Our consideration of assessment policy statement related to cases where we are asked by an NHS employer or contracting organisation to consider whether to offer an assessment of an individual doctor, dentist or pharmacist about whom there are concerns.

A copy of our policy statement for considering such requests can be found here.

 

 

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