All clinical placements require students to maintain an ‘Ongoing Achievement Record’ and within this, to collect two written feedback documents from patients with whom they work, and these are discussed with the clinical supervisor. Consent forms and proformas for collecting this evidence and comparing observations with defined criteria are available, including adapted versions for young children and people with cognitive impairments. For example, Canterbury Christchurch University has developed a feedback proforma in ‘easy-read’ language, as well as an explanation about assessment in clear language for use with learning disabled patients who offer feedback.
It is made clear to student nurses on placement at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust that they should never approach service users or carers to ask for this feedback but rather the mentor or clinical supervisor should identify suitable people to provide the feedback.
At Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, people with lived experience of using services are employed as Placement Advisers for students on some clinical settings (they do not tend to work with the same team where they receive healthcare interventions). They meet for up to six one-to-one sessions with the student to provide an opportunity to talk through their experiences and advocate to ensure that the placement takes proper account of service users’ perspectives whilst meeting the learning outcomes required by the university. At present, this approach is limited to a Recovery team and plans have been approved to roll it out to acute mental health wards and perhaps beyond. The role is largely advisory, and so Placement Advisers do not directly contribute to summative assessment of clinical placements.
- At De Montfort University, the clinical mentor (rather than the student themselves) decides which patients should be asked to provide feedback on the student. Poor scores trigger feedback and an action plan for improvement. Three consecutive poor scores trigger a fitness to practice hearing.
- The University of the West of England has developed a proforma for service user and carer feedback during clinical placements. The proformas are tailored to individual user groups such as people with poor literacy. Likewise, the University of Lincoln use this form.