Regulators come together to support reflective practice across healthcare

The chief executives of nine healthcare regulators, including the HCPC, have signed a joint statement – Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner – outlining the processes and advantages of good reflective practice for individuals and teams.
Reflective practice allows an individual to continually improve the quality of care they provide and gives multi-disciplinary teams the opportunity to reflect and discuss openly and honestly.

The statement affirms that reflection plays an important role in healthcare, and brings benefits to service users by: 

  • fostering improvements in practices and services;
  • assuring the public that health and care professionals are continuously learning and seeking to improve.

The statement reinforces that reflection is a key element of development and educational requirements and, in some professions, for revalidation as well. It also makes clear that service user confidentiality is vital, and that registrants will never be asked to provide their personal reflective notes to investigate a concern about them.

The statement makes clear that teams should be encouraged to make time for reflection, as a way of aiding development, improving wellbeing and deepening professional commitment.

Information is given on how to get the most out of reflective practice, including having a systematic and structured approach with proactive and willing participants. It makes clear that any experience, positive or negative and however small – perhaps a conversation with a colleague – can generate meaningful insight and learning. Multi-disciplinary and professional team reflection is viewed as an excellent way to develop ideas and improve practice.

The statement also reinforces the regulators’ continued commitments to reflective practice across their own organisations, and highlights the pivotal role it plays in changing and improving their work.

Chief executives of nine regulators – the General Chiropractic Council, General Dental Council, General Medical Council, General Optical Council, General Osteopathic Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland – have all signed the statement.

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