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Nurse appraisals will include patient feedback

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Nurses will be asked to comment on the performance of their colleagues and managers during appraisals and patients will also submit feedback, as part of a series of initiatives to improve nursing care quality.

NHS England CNO Jane Cummings announced plans for development on workforce planning, education, leadership and staff satisfaction and proposed the introduction of 360 degree appraisals.

Ms Cummings' announcement follows a recommendation in the Francis report into care failings in Mid Staffordshire that common standards be developed for nurse appraisals, including 360-degree anonymous appraisal by colleagues and patients.

NHS England plans to implement the recommendation in full and commissioners are likely to include the requirement for 360-degree appraisals in contracts with providers from April 2014.

In an IN survey of 480 primary care nurses in March, 84 per cent said they supported annual mandatory appraisal; however, the 2012 annual NHS Staff Survey found 36 per cent of employees were unhappy with their current appraisal process.

Queen's Nursing Institute chief executive Crystal Oldman, said: 'Appraisals are not just performance management tools. I would look forward to a collaborative forum between nurses and their managers.'

A practice nurse respondent to IN's survey said appraisals should be part of the culture of the NHS. 'All nurses re-registering with the NMC should have to sign to say they have received an appraisal within the last year' she said.

But she added: 'Leaders are needed who are encouraging, supportive and in homes, seeing what is going on. They should lead by example and create a caring culture for their staff.'

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