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The Out of Hours Organisation's Role

The Out of Hours Organisation's Role

All doctors on a Performers List are required to be appraised annually.  Employers and those who sub-contract services, including unscheduled care services, appreciate the benefits that an annual appraisal can bring in terms of enhanced service quality and patient safety. All good employers will support your appraisal.

Support takes four forms:

  1. Supporting you in the collection of data so that you can measure your performance and compare it with your peers. Most OOH organisations use computer software which holds rich sources of information about your work which can be made available for audit and appraisal purposes.
  2. Facilitating the feedback process from which you will learn, for example: by helping to gather feedback from your colleagues through multi-source feedback (MSF); or from hospitals, giving details of the outcome from your referrals; or allowing you to learn from recorded telephone conversations or consultations you may have had with patients or their representatives.
  3. Providing a setting in which you can learn with other doctors who do the same job, preferably in small groups.
  4. Helping you with funding for appropriate learning opportunities.

While employers should support all doctors in preparing for their appraisal, do not forget it is your own responsibility to ensure that you are up to date and safe to do your job. Appraisal is one of the tools which can help you to do this.

If these supports are not in place, it will be much more difficult for you to obtain and reflect on evidence for appraisal, and to develop your knowledge and skills as an OOH doctor.  Possible solutions for doctors in this situation might include:

  • Ask your employer if you can get time and a venue to form a small practice based learning group with some of your peers.
  • Approach your employer using details in these pages and enquire about the availability and provision of data or voice records from their computer system for personal study.
  • Ask your employer about the system for providing induction and support for new employees, for applying for study leave and for routine important updates such as CPR, child protection and infection control.

If you experienced difficulty you could remind them that helping you may improve the service you provide, and - by extension - the quality of service that they provide to patients. It is in nobody's interests to leave you poorly supported when you provide unscheduled care, and patients should always be able to expect that the organisation providing care is committed to keeping its doctors up to date, safe and good at their jobs.

This page was last updated on: 27/04/2021