- You must treat colleagues fairly and with respect.
You must not damage the professional, personal, or commercial reputation of a colleague or that of a competing occupational health provider, by making malicious, unfounded or unproven comments about them.
- You must be aware of how your behaviour may influence others within and outside the team.
Team working is a common important element of occupational health practice. Teams need effective leadership. If you lead an occupational health team, you must ensure that team members meet the standards of conduct and care set out in Leadership and Management for all Doctors (2012).
As a team leader you must also provide an environment in which the general standards and obligations of Good Medical Practice can be met by the individuals and services that you manage. You must for example be satisfied that:
- clinical members of a team are registered with their respective regulatory bodies (e.g. doctors with the GMC, nurses with the NMC, physiotherapists with the HPC);
- fellow registered medical practitioners are aware of, and follow, the guidance of the GMC, and that colleagues from other professions follow the guidance of their own regulatory bodies;
- all clinicians have suitable liability insurance or indemnity cover;
- all occupational health team members recognise and work within their limitations;
- all occupational health team members are appraised;
- mechanisms are in place to identify the educational and training needs of staff, as well as any deficiencies of performance;
- there is sufficient opportunity and support for training;
- there is sufficient supervision, including access if required to advice from a consultant listed on the GMC’s register of medical specialists for occupational medicine;
- regular reviews and audit of the performance of the team are undertaken and any opportunities for improvement are addressed;
- the principles of clinical governance are applied to the team’s activities;
- systems are in place for dealing supportively with problems in the performance, conduct or health of team members;
- systems are in place through which colleagues can raise concerns about risks to patients;
- within the team, safe working practices are followed and working methods conform to the requirements of health and safety legislation;
- all statutory obligations are observed;
- systems are in place to store, use and disclose confidential information in line with the law and professional guidance;
- there are adequate systems in place for investigating complaints promptly and fully;
- there are adequate resources to support the services you contract to provide;
- each patient’s care is properly co-ordinated and managed and that patients know whom to contact if they have questions or concerns.
In addition you should:
- define the lines of accountability for the quality and standards of care;
- take responsibility for ensuring that the team works effectively to achieve and maintain high standards of practice;
- do your best to make sure that the whole team understands the need to provide a polite, responsive, accessible and effective service and to treat patient information as confidential;
- work within the limits of your competence as a manager, keep up to date as a manager, and seek expert advice when you need it;
- take part in professional development and educational activities appropriate to your management responsibilities, as well as annual appraisal and revalidation looking at your performance as a manager, and reviews and audit of your managerial performance.
Extracts from Leadership and Management for All Doctors that illustrate key principles are reproduced in red over the following pages.