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Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner

Health and care regulators unite to stress importance of reflective practice

Published on 19th June 2019

Healthcare regulators have united to affirm the benefits of reflective practice.

The chief executives of nine healthcare regulators, including the Health and Care Professions Council which regulates the social work and occupational therapy professions, have signed a joint statement outlining the processes and advantages of good refelctive practice for both individuals and teams.

"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," said the statement.

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 adds that being a reflective practitioner has the following benefits:

- Supports individual professionals in multi-disciplinary team work.

- Fosters improvements in practice and services.

- Assures the public that health and care professionals are continuously learning and seeking to improve.

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

The regulators add that they want to "encourage health and care professionals, and their employers, to gain the maximum benefit from investing time and effort in reflection". Components of good reflection often includes:

- Professionals who proactively and willingly engage in the practice – making it less of a tick box exercise.

- A systematic and structured approach that aims to draw out learning outcomes has a greater impact.

- Both positive and negative experiences.

- Involves people who use services, patients, their families and carers in the reflective process, helping professionals to focus on what matters to people using health and social care services.

The statment outlines that demonstrating reflection is part of the information the regulators require for continued registration, continuing professional development or continuing education requirements. Ensuring patient confidentiality is key and where reflection is recorded, they should be anonymised.

Regulators will not ask those on their 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.

The nine regulators are the General Chiropractic Council, General Dental Council, General Medical Council, General Optical Council, General Osteopathic Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, the Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwidery Council and Pharmaceutical Society NI.

Statement - Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner

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