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Final Report > Recommendations > Competent healthcare professionals

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Competent healthcare professionals

Broadening the notion of professional competence

  1. Greater priority than at present should be given to non-clinical aspects of care in six key areas in the education, training and continuing professional development of healthcare professionals:
  2. skills in communicating with patients and with colleagues;
  3. education about the principles and organisation of the NHS, and about how care is managed, and the skills required for management;
  4. the development of teamwork;
  5. shared learning across professional boundaries;
  6. clinical audit and reflective practice; and
  7. leadership.
  8. Competence in non-clinical aspects of caring for patients should be formally assessed as part of the process of obtaining an initial professional qualification, whether as a doctor, a nurse or some other healthcare professional.
  9. Education in communication skills must be an essential part of the education of all healthcare professionals. Communication skills include the ability to engage with patients on an emotional level, to listen, to assess how much information a patient wants to know, and to convey information with clarity and sympathy.
  10. Communication skills must also include the ability to engage with and respect the views of fellow healthcare professionals.
  11. The education, training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of all healthcare professionals should include joint courses between the professions.
  12. There should be more opportunities than at present for multi-professional teams to learn, train and develop together.
  13. All those preparing for a career in clinical care should receive some education in the management of healthcare, the health service and the skills required for management.
  14. Greater opportunities should be created for managers and clinicians to `shadow' one another for short periods to learn about their respective roles and work pressures.


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