Johnson, Claire (2016) Developing Inter-Professional Peer Group Clinical Supervision - An Action Research Study in Healthcare. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This action research project aimed to develop inter-professional peer clinical supervision involving nurses and allied health professionals within a community health care organization.

The literature revealed limited evidence regarding the development of supervisory relationships in peer group supervision and a deficiency of insider reports of interprofessional peer supervision interactions. Preparedness of practitioners and lack of protected time remain as barriers to sustainable clinical supervision.

An inter-professional peer clinical supervision group (IPPCSG) was constituted via a four phase action research process. A qualitative approach was employed using a single case study design. The involvement of participants as co-inquirers reflected the participatory nature of action research.

All sessions were audio-recorded and fully transcribed with data analysed using Template Analysis. A theoretical framework was developed to support the interpretation of the findings drawing on concepts of democracy and power.

This action research study revealed the part played by structure and rules in securing a safe supervision space, with the incorporation of democratic principles being crucial in equalising power relationships. The study illuminates how trust developed and how supervisory relationships matured and provides detail of the transitions between functional peer supervision group roles. Valuable insights have been gained into how challenge and support are balanced when exploring decision-making and risk. The findings suggest that the different professional identities and perspectives within this group did not impinge on the development of effective supervisory transactions. Substantial common ground was revealed regarding issues brought to supervision, professional beliefs, values and experiences. The analysis suggests that processing work-generated emotion should be a core component of supervision. Learning about each other’s practice and learning how to ‘do’ clinical supervision were identified as important outcomes by co-inquirers.

The analysis and interpretation of these data produced the Triple Diamond Model of Interprofessional Peer Group Supervision which may resonate with other practitioners and conveners of group clinical supervision.

The evaluation of this action research study identified valuable outcomes for co-inquirers in regard to capacity building and personal development and to a lesser extent for the wider organization in contributing to the development of clinical supervision.

The IPPCSG has been maintained since the conclusion of the study.

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