Mr Marcus Gardner1, Ms Fiona Kent2, Ms Emma Scott3
1Bendigo Health, Bendigo, Australia, 2Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 3Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Melbourne, Australia
Clinical supervision (CS) of allied health (AH) workers aspires to facilitate safe patient care and worker wellbeing. However, a lack of shared understanding of the purpose and process of CS has resulted in great variability in practice. Structured frameworks for CS are proposed to to support consistent and effective CS practice. The aim of this project was to develop a CS framework for AH in health and community services in Victoria.
An expert reference group was established and a rapid review of CS literature was undertaken. Existing Australian CS frameworks were reviewed to identify best practice examples. A two phase stakeholder consultation process followed, via electronic survey and face to face workshops, to inform the framework development and explore enablers and barriers to implementation.
AH clinicians and managers responded to the survey (n=158) and/or attended consultation workshops (n=56). Participants reported that a Victorian CS framework would add value for AH supervision practice (87%) and the NSW Health Clinical Supervision Framework was appropriate for modification (96%). Suggested modification included increased emphasis on the role of CS on worker wellbeing and the need for practical resources to assist implementation. Barriers included access to CS due to workload pressure and staffing structures and access to CS training.
Significance of findings to allied health
This project addresses the need for a structured CS framework for AH to help to reduce the gap between CS theory and practice. Broad consultation facilitated the development of a framework for AH working across diverse settings.
Marcus Gardner is Manager of Allied Health Education and Research and Podiatry at Bendigo Health. He is currently a PhD candidate at La Trobe University and his PhD topic is what influences the effectiveness of clinical supervision for allied health? He has recently been involved in a project to develop a Victorian Allied Health Clinical Supervision Framework.