Kate Wales

National Head of Safeguarding and Supervision and Professional Nurse Advocate Lead

Health in Justice: Practice Plus Group Healthcare

Resilience-based Clinical Supervision Participant and Commissioner

When we started the adoption of the PNA role 18 months ago, we quickly realised that we wouldn’t necessarily have enough professional nurse advocates to support our workforce across the 55 prisons and three immigration removal centres where we provide healthcare. We haven’t just adopted the PNA model for our nursing workforce, we have a full multidisciplinary model within Practice Plus Group, including registered staff, non-registered staff and allied health professionals as well. RBCS with the Foundation of Nursing Studies was seen as an opportunity to train up others to be able to deliver clinical supervision alongside and to complement the existing PNA and clinical supervisors.

I personally found the training enlightening and empowering; to understand the emotional regulation systems and the impact they have in terms of our own behaviours and assumptions, and how we may perceive certain situations and other people’s behaviour. And that feedback has been really similar from everyone that’s undertaken the programme within Practice Plus Group. Some of our PNAs joined those cohorts and it really cemented what the restorative approach supervision was; resilience based clinical supervision really encompasses the restorative approach. And it’s really closed the loop for some of the PNAs to be able to deliver effective supervision to our staff groups.

After the cohorts with FoNS, we’re now ‘cascading’ the model across our sites, across the seven regions. And what’s been really amazing is that again, we’ve not just had nurses joining, we had pharmacists, a GP and a paramedic, so a real multidisciplinary approach to start to embed really positive supervision cultures across our organisation. There’s quite a lot of noise at the moment around resilience and people often see it as meaning that we just should bounce back. This can lead to blaming the individual. But with Resilience-based Clinical Supervision, it’s a different model of resilience – around our systems and processes.

Moving forward, we’re also looking at introducing RBCS within the primary care sector of the business. And what we’ve also started to do now is include prison staff. In the prisons and immigration removal centres, we work really closely with the detention and prison staff and actually what they’re exposed to, the trauma they’re exposed to is really similar to what we are exposed to. If we share experiences, we can learn from each other and support one another.

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