A new paper in the BJGP about peer review in an out-of-hours GP service in Bristol found that peer review could help GPs practice more safely for themselves and for patients.
Researchers interviewed 20 clinicians between September 2018 and January 2019 about their work. Interviewees said that clinician learning improved through the use of peer feedback, which highlighted learning needs and validated their practice.
Limitations included variation in the quality of feedback and efficiency of methods to identify learning needs, and the use of written clinical notes to assess cases. Factors such as how experienced and motivated the clinician was, and the learning culture of the organisation they worked in, influenced whether or not the system felt helpful to them, they told researchers.
NASGP’s locum chambers model, developed over 20 years, is an evidenced system for GP locums looking for monthly opportunities for peer review.
NASGP tools such as the case review template help GPs run effective peer review that supports their day-to-day clinical practice, as well as preparing them for appraisal.
Chambers are also strongly supported as a protective factor against burnout in sessional GPs.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “It is always good to see more evidence for ways for groups of GPs to support each other in making their work safer and more efficient.
“Everyone is familiar with new medications and innovative therapies coming onto the market that are of proven benefit to patients, so it’s always heartening to have something that is relatively so simple to be shown to also make a significant difference to the work we do.
“NASGP has always encouraged GP locums to join peer support networks if they aren’t already a member of one, and we can very quickly set up a peer support network for any locum where they live.
“As well as helping secure work, NASGP Locum Chambers also provide regular peer-led meetings, complemented by a range of templates and feedback mechanisms to support both the locums and the practices where they work.”