WHAT ARE CLINICAL SUPERVISORS?
Clinical Supervisors are qualified specialists who have responsibility for the day-to-day supervision, training and assessment of trainees who are doing a placement in their specialty. In a GP post, your Clinical Supervisor is therefore your GP Trainer. Sometimes, it might be other GPs in the practice. In hospital, your Clinical Supervisor will be the hospital consultant nominated to oversee your day to day clinical work. Make sure you find out who yours is. Your Clinical Supervisor should be a nice warm and friendly person. If he or she looks similar to the picture on the right, tell us and we’ll see what we can do .
The Gold Guide (section 4.27) requires that each trainee should have a named Clinical Supervisor for each placement, usually a senior doctor, who is responsible for ensuring that appropriate Clinical Supervision of the trainee’s day-to-day clinical performance occurs at all times, with regular feedback. Furthermore, all Clinical Supervisors should:
- Understand their responsibilities for patient safety.
- Be fully trained in the specific area of clinical care.
- Offer a level of supervision necessary to the competences and experience of the trainee and tailored for the individual trainee.
- Ensure that no trainee is required to assume responsibility for or perform clinical, operative or other techniques in which they have insufficient experience and expertise.
- Ensure that trainees only perform tasks without direct supervision when the Clinical Supervisor is satisfied that they are competent so to do; both trainee and clinical supervisor should at all times be aware of their direct responsibilities for the safety of patients in their care.
- Consider whether it is appropriate (particularly out of hours) to delegate the role of Clinical Supervisor to another senior member of the healthcare team. In these circumstances the individual must be clearly identified to both parties and understand the role of the clinical supervisor. The named Clinical Supervisor remains responsible and accountable for the care of the patient and the trainee.
- Be appropriately trained to teach, provide feedback and undertake competence assessment of the trainees in the specialty.
- Be trained in equality and diversity and human rights best practice.
- On a day-to-day basis, they will clinically supervise your work.
- Throughout the post they will do various WPBA assessments on you.
- Finally, in the last meeting, they are expected to write a report about you (called the CSR – Clinical Supervisor’s Report; more below) which MUST be done before your Educational Supervision meeting for that post.
The Clinical Supervisor (GP Trainer or hospital consultant) will be asked to do a report on you (called the CSR – Clinical Supervisor’s Report) towards the end of your attachment with them. This CSR is an electronic form embedded within your ePortfolio. It must be filled in BEFORE the last Educational Supervision meeting for that post. You will probably need to remind them! Actually, for hospital posts, the CSR form should be done by the consultant who knows the trainee’s work best even if the e portfolio doesn’t have their name as nominated Clinical Supervisor. The CSR covers things like:
- Your relationship with patients and team colleagues
- How good you are at making decisions
- How good you are at managing yourself or others (i.e. organisational skills)
- Something about professionalism – your honesty, integrity, attitudes and the like.
The electronic form provides reminders of the definitions of the competencies to make writing the report easier.
The report helps you and your Educational Supervisor:
- Highlight areas where the trainee has shown particular strengths
- Identify any significant developmental needs identified during a placement
If there are serious issues of professional performance or ill-health during a placement these will need to be handled by normal acute trust/primary care trust/deanery mechanisms. In such circumstances always liaise with the Programme Director of the training scheme and with deanery as EARLY as possible.