Healthcare regulators have joined forces to highlight the benefits of reflective practice among professionals in the healthcare sector.

A joint statement – Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner – has been signed outlining the advantages of reflective practice.

The regulators say reflection includes recording and documenting insight to aid their learning and identify opportunities to improve.

‘Reflection plays an important role in healthcare,’ Ian Brack, chief executive and registrar of the General Dental Council, said.

‘It brings significant benefits to patients by fostering improvements in practices.

‘And it assures the public that professionals are learning from the challenges they encounter – and seeking to improve.

‘Our research on CPD highlighted the importance of teams coming together to reflect when things go wrong and right.

‘This is one of the things that we are going to be seeking views about when we consult on the future of lifelong learning for dental professionals in the early part of this summer.’

Time for reflection

The statement from nine healthcare regulator chief executives makes clear that teams should be encouraged to make time for reflection.

They encourage reflection to be used as a way of aiding development, improving wellbeing and deepening professional commitment.

‘We encourage all dental professionals to take part in reflection, which remains an important part of clinical practice and is also a key component of the GDC’s enhanced CPD scheme,’ John Makin, head of the DDU, said in response to the statement.

‘Conscientious reflection on professional practice can be helpful both in terms of learning lessons and in demonstrating insight.

‘Reflections should be anonymised and focus on what has been learned, rather than the identifiable details of those involved.

‘We hope the guidance will help reassure dental professionals about some of the misconceptions about reflection.

‘We encourage members who are completing reflective notes after something has gone wrong, or those who have received a request to disclose the document to others, to contact us for further advice.’

Drop in ARF

The GDC recently proposed a decrease in the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) for dentists, with a small increase for dental care professionals.

Launched in its consultation – Working with the dental team for public safety and confidence – the GDC proposes:

  • An ARF drop of £150 to around £740 for dentists
  • An ARF increase of around £4 to £120 for dental care professionals.

‘The GDC is committed to changing the regulatory landscape,’ explains Ian Brack, GDC chief executive and registrar.

‘This is for the reasons we identified in Shifting the balance.

‘The priorities we identified in that document remain at the core of our ambition for the next three years.’

The consultation is open now and can be accessed on the GDC’s website.

The deadline to respond is Thursday 30 July 2019.