Background Clinical supervision (CS) encompasses managerial, educational, evaluative and supportive roles. CS as a supportive, semi-structured conversation in a safe environment with the aim of improving relationship-based patient focused care is integral in psychiatry but is utilised much less in other specialties. CS provides a way of exploring complex decision-making and promotes a culture of curiosity and reflection. CS has been recognised as a key factor in improving patient safety and quality of care. The purpose of this survey was to ascertain the views of Palliative Medicine (PM) trainees in one region towards access to CS.
Methods A survey was conducted of the PM trainees in one health education region exploring their views on CS. Trainee representatives from other regions were approached to explore access to CS in other training programmes.
Results Only 6 out of 15 trainees (40%) had access to CS in their current training post. Of these 6, the majority had one-to-one supervision with an internal or external facilitator. All trainees (100%) agreed that PM trainees should have access to funded CS on a regular basis. Most common benefits of CS were thought to be reducing burnout and compassion fatigue and improving self-awareness and insight. 7 trainee representatives from the 13 other health education regions in the United Kingdom responded to requests for information on CS available to trainees in their region (response rate 54%). Of these 7, only 2 regions offered all trainees access to funded CS; these were both organised as group supervision for trainees by a trained professional between 2–4 times a year.
Conclusion Palliative medicine trainees would like to access CS as part of their professional role but only a minority are currently able to access this. There is considerable variation in provision of access to CS for trainees across the different training regions.
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