University of Limerick
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The establishment and value of peer group clinical supervision: A qualitative study of stakeholders' perspectives

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Aims: Explore perspectives of steering group members and external clinical supervision facilitators of developing and establishing peer group clinical supervision. Background: The climate of healthcare is complex which can lead to staff burnout and challenges to practice. Clinical supervision is suggested as an approach to managing and leadership of such complexities. Design: Qualitative descriptive. Methods: Focus group interviews with 19 members of the peer group clinical supervision steering groups and individual interviews with five external clinical supervision facilitators from the Western region of Ireland were conducted. Data analysis followed Elo and Kyngäs' content analysis method, involving preparation, organising and reporting, to extract meaning and identify patterns from the qualitative data collected. Results: Developing peer group clinical supervision practice requires, clarity of purpose and function that address the pros and cons of clinical supervision. Organisational leadership is required to support and release staff for peer group clinical supervision and peer group clinical supervisors need to be credible and have a level of expertise in practice. When prepared and supported, the aspects of confidence, leadership, personal development and resilience develop. Conclusion: Peer group clinical supervisors need training and ongoing continual professional development for their role, scope of practice and responsibilities. Sustainability rests on staff awareness and familiarity with the purpose and format of peer group clinical supervision and the regularity of sessions. Implications for the profession and/or patient care: Peer group clinical supervision is a means of supporting improvement of patient care delivery while in parallel supporting personal and professional development of staff, building resilience in the workplace. Impact: This study explored the implementation of peer group clinical supervision for staff across nursing and midwifery disciplines. It found that implementing peer group clinical supervision had a positive impact on staff well-being and morality and on patient care delivery. These findings influence healthcare service providers in implementing peer group clinical supervision in a sustainable way enabling nurses to continue working in complex healthcare environments delivering safe person-centred care. Reporting method: The qualitative reporting guidelines Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR) were followed. Patient or public contribution: Patient/public involvement was addressed in this study by staff, managers, planners, directors, leaders and educationalists being involved at all stages of the study (concept, design, analysis and reporting).



Journal of Clinical Nursing 00, pp.1–16


Wiley & Sons

Other Funding information

HSE NMPDU West Mid West

Also affiliated with

  • Health Research Institute (HRI)

Department or School

  • Nursing and Midwifery

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