Background Peer review, if used effectively can aid both reflective learning and personal development. It reduces clinical isolation and leads to sharing of good practice, complex cases and ensures clinicians working to an agreed standard. In May 2012, RCPCH published good practice recommendations for the Peer Review in safeguarding.
Aim We wanted to assess Peer Review practices in the West Midlands to see if the Good Practice recommendations are followed.
Methods We conducted an e-survey of the West Midlands Paediatric consultants, involved in child safeguarding using the web tool ‘Survey Monkey’.
Results 44, consultants from the region responded. Survey has revealed that over 90% have confirmed that Peer Reviews exists in their trusts, and the Terms of reference include how frequently they should meet up. 85% have reported that minutes were recorded but the contents varied; recording of attendance (100%), agreed action plan (80%), learning points (70%). Other notable findings, such as accessibility to the trainees (80%), lead clinician remaining accountable (75%), identification of the eligible participants (70%), presence of the examining clinician (70%), and rotational chair (30%) presiding the Peer Review Meetings. Interestingly, around 50% of the responders did not completely agree that Peer Review was considered during their appraisal and 20% have reported that Peer Review is not on their job plan.
45% of the respondents believed peer reviews were not entirely unbiased and 30% could not agree that the environment is challenging yet supportive.
Conclusion Our survey has revealed significant deficiencies in the Child Safeguarding Peer Review Practices in the West Midlands. We therefore recommend a national survey to compare with other regions and auditing Peer Reviews at the local level.
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