IHPN sets out principles for Resident Doctor Assurance

The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has released a new report aimed at helping independent providers take a more standardised approach to Resident Doctor assurance.

The report, Working with Resident Doctors to Ensure High Quality Care, outlines four key principles to provide greater focus for the assurance of Resident Doctors: creating an effective clinical governance structure; monitoring patient safety, clinical quality and encouraging continuous improvement, supporting Resident Doctors and whole practice appraisal, and raising and responding to concerns.

Resident Doctors are engaged by independent providers to ensure continual medical presence when consultants are not on site. They are fully registered and licenced with the General Medical Council (GMC) and have a wide range of skills and expertise.

They are key members of the clinical team but models of provision vary across the sector – sometimes even at hospitals within the same group.

The principles set out in the new report have been developed by a project reference group of IHPN members and external stakeholders, including the GMC and Royal College of Surgeons.

Using the Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF) as a starting point, the report provides additional detail around the expectations that the independent sector has of itself (including commercial organisations supplying it with Resident Doctor services) in the governance of Resident Doctors working in their facilities.

IHPN director of regulation Dawn Hodgkins said that as well as fostering a more standardised approach, the principles could ultimately drive up the quality and safety of care for patients.

‘As part of the independent sector’s commitment to improve the safety and quality of care it delivers, it was important to develop principles, using the MPAF as a base, to provide a focus of the assurance of Resident Doctors,’ she said.

‘This report will support organisations across the sector by providing principles for independent providers that will help Resident Doctors to provide safe and effective care in an environment that supports them and their wellbeing.’