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Thread: Lapsed critical competencies- but having to cover benches

  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016

    Lapsed critical competencies- but having to cover benches

    Please advise the best way to deal with a situation where the BBM is required to cover the cross-match bench, due to lack of staffing and appropriate skill-mix to maintain service,but their competencies have lapsed for over 2 years. At least 10 days supervised training is needed to re-establish these competencies, but there may not be staff to perform these yet. This would be against both professional standards and the Regulations.

    Would a waiver from the Pathology manager be acceptable to cover this situation?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    I try to keep out of discussions on the forum, but in this case I feel there is a need to comment.

    Apart from liability cover should there be patient harm, I fail to see what a waiver from the pathology manager will do. Am I missing something?

    The key issue here is assuring patient safety which is why education, training and competency assessment is needed before unsupervised work is performed. If it goes wrong at issue there is very little time to recall and correct matters and prevent a patient harm event. This is maybe a lesson to all that competencies should be maintained if there is a potential need at some point to perform the work, whatever the position of the individual within the organisation.


  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    I agree Stephen, not much point of a waiver as the risk assessment would show this could impact patient safety. The priority is to maintain competencies, however, in this case other factors were involved and now time to catch up. Though it has been suggested that as the BBM has implicit knowledge their working without comp assessment is ok, as this happens on the wards too!

    There are also concerns among BBMs that by having full competencies makes them available for routine bench working (which they would probably enjoy anyway!) but then they are unable to maintain other responsibilities.
    Many thanks

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