Primary Care Professional Support: Clinical supervision

Clinical supervision is a term used by regulators and professional bodies to refer to the process of ensuring the safe and effective everyday practice of practitioners, developing their learning through reflection and supporting them in managing challenges, uncertainty and complexity.

Clinical supervision has three main functions:

  1. Normative: Supervisor provides guidance on standard procedures and best practice
  2. Formative: Supervisor and practitioners identify practitioner learning needs, create action plans and reflect on learning after implementation.
  3. Restorative: Supervisor supports practitioner to  explore and manage challenges, complexity and other pressure in their role, where practitioners may feel overwhelmed. Signposting to other services may also be needed.

Wellbeing is a term that has been used recently, relating to supporting staff to manage complexity and change. However it has long been embedded in the roles of the majority of patient-facing health care professionals as part of the restorative aspect of clinical supervision.​

Recorded discussions to guide you through the process of restorative clinical supervision

This page contains short podcasts/ recordings that describe the need for professional self-care and how clinical supervision can be used by pharmacy staff to support each other. If this is something you and your organisation would like to learn more about, please get in touch.

Introducing psychological wellbeing as part of clinical supervision: a case study

Accompanying powerpoint slides:Wellbeing for pharmacy staff: Why what and where do we start

  • Professor Nina Barnett and Dr Barry Jubraj discuss a case study to illustrate some key issues which may arise from a challenging or uncertain/ complex situation.
  • They both explore how clinical supervision through peer support and wellbeing can support those feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope with a changing environment.

A clinical supervision discussion with a critical care colleague responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • In this recording, Professor Nina Barnett and Dr Barry Jubraj explore clinical supervision with Sarraa Al-Mahdi, Lead Specialist Critical Care Pharmacist at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.
  • This discussion focuses on Sarraa’s experience of the pressures of working in ITU during the COVID-19 pandemic however is relevant to clinicians across all sectors struggling with complexity and uncertainty in their own practice.

Psychological wellbeing: a reflective peer to peer discussion

Accompanying powerpoint slides:Promoting psychological wellbeing for pharmacy staff during COVID-19

  • This recording introduces a method of professional debrief between two pharmacists, known as clinical supervision.
  • The example discusses a critical care case which had a personal impact, but the method will be helpful for anyone during the current pandemic and beyond. Having a discussion between individuals or groups from the same profession can be helpful because of shared understanding of what we do and what we may face.

Wellbeing Resource Document

To compliment the recordings above, we’ve also provided a document:Wellbeing and accessing support during the COVID-19 pandemic aimed at pharmacy staff to consider their own wellbeing and those of their staff. This supplements the recordings about wellbeing for pharmacy staff.

Additional professional support currently available

There are some great resources from other professional bodies within our profession on this subject.

Get in touch to provide feedback on this page. The number of resources and recordings will grow over time as part of the Pharmacy Integration Fund project to support Primary Care Network Pharmacists.

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