Revalidation: Everything you need to know about practice-related feedback


Nurses - 10 months ago

While practice-related feedback is a crucial part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) revalidation process, it can be difficult know how to go about obtaining the necessary five written accounts from varied sources on your care and work.

Here we answer common questions about practice-related feedback and how you can effectively obtain it.

Do all five pieces of feedback have to come from patients?  

It can be incredibly daunting to ask patients about the care they receive, but remember that the aim is to be able to reflect and adapt in line with the Code, meaning the thoughts of patients are invaluable. That being said, even nurses in patient-facing roles don’t need to get all of their feedback from patients - it could just account for one or two of the required five. Also, remember that obtaining patient feedback doesn’t have to involve you quizzing them, you can get it from a variety of sources including conversations with the patients and their families or even thank you cards and letters.

The NMC provides the following recommends for feedback sources:

  • Patients, service users, carers or students as part of your day to day practice
  • Colleagues such as nurses, midwives and healthcare professionals
  • Colleagues in management, on reception, in assistant positions, as well as fellow teachers, researchers, academics or policy colleagues
  • Complaints
  • Team performance reports
  • Serious event reviews
  • Feedback received through your annual appraisal.

What actually counts as feedback?

There are different types of feedback that are applicable, which the NCM categorise as:

  • Feedback about your individual practice
  • Feedback about  your team, ward, unit or organisation’s practice - although with this, you should be clear about the impact the feedback had on your practice
  • Formal or informal
  • Written or verbal
  • Positive or constructive.

Remember that whether you obtain feedback from colleagues, patients or service users, you must make it abundantly clear that no information that identifies them will be included. You also have a responsibility to tell them how you’re going to use their feedback and reassure any patients that giving feedback will not affect the standard of care they receive.

Is it better to omit negative feedback?

NMC categorises feedback as positive or constructive. In other words, there’s no such thing as negative feedback. If you do include constructive feedback from a patient complaint, you need to be able to consider how this feedback relates to the Code, how you’ve reflected upon it and what you’ve learned to improve the service you deliver. You can also expand upon any constructive feedback and include it in one of your reflective accounts.

What’s the best way to record feedback?

There’s no requirement for feedback to be recorded in a specific format, so whatever is most convenient for you. If you need help, the NMC provides a handy template to help you record your feedback, which you can find in the How to Revalidate guide.

For more information about practice-related feedback, visit the dedicated revalidation area of the NMC website. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the friendly team at MCM Medical if you need any advice and guidance on your healthcare career in the NHS or private sector.