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Appraisals to include feedback from nursing colleagues and patients

  • 7 Comments

Nurses are to be asked to give feedback about the performance of their colleagues and managers, under plans to introduce 360 degree appraisals.

The new-style appraisal, which will also include feedback from patients, is being introduced in England by March 2014 as part of the Compassion in Practice national nursing strategy.

It follows a recommendation in the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust Public Inquiry report that common standards be developed for appraisals, including 360-degree anonymous feedback by colleagues and input from patients.

Former Mid Staffordshire nurse Helene Donnelly, who blew the whistle on poor care at the trust, suggested the idea in her evidence to the public inquiry.

Professor Juliet Beal, NHS England director nursing for quality improvement and care, said: “There is lots of evidence to show if you do appraisals you have staff who understand what they are doing and feel valued.”

Royal College of Nursing policy director Howard Catton told Nursing Times the kind of appraisal being considered could help improve culture if they were handled correctly.

“You need to have a level of trust where people feel able to feedback upwards as well as reviewing feedback from patients in a way that is genuinely about improvement and does not result in punitive action,” he said.

According to latest NHS staff survey results, 83% of staff received an appraisal in 2012 but only 36% thought it was well structured.

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  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • Great idea from patients perspective but not sure about from colleagues side as this could put them in a difficult position as after all they work with them and patients go home. Appraisals should concentrate on how well the member of staff is doing and how that can be improved so they don't dread it. Anything else can be addressed via a different route.

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  • I think this is good idea, at my hospital in saudi arabia we do 360 apprasials and it works well, and in terms of the collegue feedback it was done anonymously and incorparated into the appraisal. I never knew who had completed an appraisal on me but i got a well rounded picture of the areas my colleagues belive me to excel in and the areas wherei could improve.

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  • michael stone

    You have to see this as an exercise in 'honest comment', which should lead to some personal reflection - not an exercise in blame.

    Personally, in my e-mail discussions with clinicians, I find it almost impossible to get them to send 'You are being dim about that, because ...' (the fasted way to get to the nub issues in a debate): so I'm not sure how 'honestly critical' of colleagues, most clinicians are likely to be (internal 'bickering/squabling' aside !).

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  • Really? Do we want to introduce this when there are so many areas with bullying and inadequate management skills? When there are so many factors beyond the control of staff which affect their ability to carry out their duties?

    Great idea if you are working in a positive, well supported environment. How many nurses do?

    I have a great deal of respect for Helene Donnelly's courage and persistence, but let's not kid ourselves that she has training or experience in this area. Particularly dangerous is this 'Compassion in Practice' stunt. Failing to address poor staffing levels, poor resources, poor management, a damaged culture and chronic bullying, whilst foisting the entire blame for stafford onto the Nursing Profession is precisely what is happening. Sort out the culture first.

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  • Agree with anonymous 5.24pm above.
    I have experience of 360 appraisals in primary care, and it is generally an opportunity for people to bitch against a member of staff they dont particularly like anonymously. I have known nurses with poor clinical skills be praised over and above their abilities because they hang around with the right people; whilst others who quietly just get on with it slated for "not smiling enough" or "once refused to take a phone call" when the nurse concerned was in the middle of taking a smear! 360 degree appraisals are only as good as the people who are anonymously giving their often unqualified opinions.

    I also have experience of dealing with complaints in the acute sector, and most complaints we received were vexatious and spurious and usually linked to having to wait or not liking the doctors diagnosis. Of course, being at the face of most departments nurses take the brunt of criticism as though it is their personal fault that the "patients experience" has not been a good one, even if they were not personally involved in their care!

    If we want to continue to encourage young people to enter nursing we really do have to change the culture of blaming the nursing profession for everything that is wrong with the NHS.

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  • what safeguards will there be to avoid the 360 system stifling a nurse's desire to challange malpractice amongst colleagues?

    doing most to protect patient interests may get the worst appraisal.

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  • Great idea (so long as colleagues have the backbone to say it face to face) .

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