The leaders of nine healthcare regulators, including the GMC, have signed a joint statement to stress the benefits of good reflection among healthcare professionals.
The statement, “Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner”, outlines the processes and advantages of being a good reflective practitioner for individuals and teams.
The General Medical Council has signed up to the joint statement.
What is reflective practice?
This joint statement sets out our common expectations for health and care professionals to be reflective practitioners, engaging meaningfully in reflection and the benefits it brings.
Being a reflective practitioner benefits people using health and care services by:
- Supporting individual professionals in multi-disciplinary team work.
- Fostering improvements in practice and services.
- Assuring the public that health and care professionals are continuously learning and seeking to improve.
Expectations for reflective practitioners
Engaging in reflection benefits health and care professionals and the multi-professional teams in which they work, or with whom they might discuss aspects of their practice. Key considerations include:
- Demonstrating reflection is part of the information we require for continued registration through our revalidation, continuing professional development or continuing education requirements.
- Ensuring patient confidentiality is vital. Where reflections are recorded, they should be anonymised and focus on learning gain and development rather than the identifiable details of people, the experience, activity or event.
- We will not ask those who are on our registers to provide their personal written reflections in order to investigate a concern about them. Registrants can choose to offer them as evidence of insight into their practice.
General Medical Council
Medicine is a lifelong journey, immensely rich, scientifically complex and constantly developing. It is characterised by positive, fulfilling experiences and feedback, but also involves uncertainty and the emotional intensity of supporting colleagues and patients.
Reflecting on these experiences is vital to personal wellbeing and development, and to improving the quality of patient care. Experiences, good and bad, have learning for the individuals involved and for the wider system.
Group reflection activities should be encouraged by employers and training providers as they provide mechanisms to identify complex issues and effect change across systems.
Time should be made available, both for self-reflection, and to reflect in groups.
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