The National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS) has published a new good practice guide aimed at helping NHS organisations deal with concerns about a practitioner’s behaviour.
'Handling Concerns about a Practitioner’s Behaviour and Conduct' builds on NCAS’ eleven years of experience in advising organisations on the most effective ways of handling concerns.
NCAS provides general and specialist advice to help organisations address concerns about the practice of individual dentists, doctors or pharmacists and practice teams and is hosted by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. A review by NCAS of 3,000 cases it handled between December 2007 and October 2010 revealed that 57 per cent had some type of behavioural component.
Karen Wadman, NCAS lead adviser, said: “Behaviour relates to how someone interacts with other people – how they communicate, how they might relate to communications difficulties, how individuals work in teams and how they react when under stress.
“However, such concerns can also relate to an organisation and how the workplace is organised and the way resources and teams are structured. This guide can be used wherever practitioners work – general practice, community and hospital sectors and whatever their speciality, grade or employment status.”
Professor Pauline McAvoy, interim medical director at NCAS, said: “Those responsible for managing health professionals, and in particular those charged with monitoring performance, are in a good position to identify potential problems.
“It is vital that concerns about behaviour, or indeed changes in behaviour, are addressed at an early stage to minimise impact on patient care. But it is also important to ensure that factors which may be contributing to the behaviour such as ill health or work context are considered.”