Exploring the experiences of general practice nurse peer appraisers.

Education for primary care : an official publication of the Association of Course Organisers, National Association of GP Tutors, World Organisation of Family Doctors

PubMedID: 25625834

Ferguson J, Kennedy S. Exploring the experiences of general practice nurse peer appraisers. Educ Prim Care. 2014;25(5):268-275.
Appraisals linked to personal development plans (PDPs) are a requirement for NHS organisations to carry out with all staff. NHS policy documents emphasise the importance of appraisal, professional development plans, lifelong learning and clinical supervision for nurses. However, there is limited research regarding appraisal for general practice nurses (GPNs). The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of trained GPN appraisers when appraising nurse colleagues, with a particular focus on identifying the barriers and facilitators associated with the implementation of the appraisal process. Appraisals were undertaken using volunteer GPN peer appraisers (n=10) following a NES-approved appraiser course. Forty appraisals were carried out (3-5/appraiser). Following the appraisals, the appraisers were invited to participate in one of two focus groups. The focus groups were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis of the data identified three main themes: role issues, reflection and appraisal interview practicalities. The findings highlighted that effective appraisal can be provided by GPNs and was highly valued by both appraisee and appraiser. The findings identified a number of barriers and facilitators to implementing peer appraisal. Given the unique and varied role GPNs undertake, this study has highlighted the importance of offering high-quality peer appraisal that encourages both reflection and the facilitation of more person-centred PDPs.