How reflection can be more effective

We want to encourage health and care professionals, and their employers, to gain the maximum benefit from investing time and effort in reflection. Components of good reflection often include:

  • Professionals who proactively and willingly engage in the practice - making it less of a tick box exercise.
  • A systematic and structured approach that aims to draw out learning outcomes has a greater impact. There are many good models of reflective practice and methods that can be used to drive reflection. For example, there may be regular activities that support a team to reflect on their practice, such as debriefs or case reviews. For other health and care professionals, their context of practice may mean that they reflect individually and without an organisational activity to support it.
  • Both positive and negative experiences. Any experience, including a conversation with a colleague, a significant clinical or professional event, or a period of time can generate meaningful reflections, insights and learning.
  • Involves people who use services, patients, their families and carers in the reflective process, helping professionals to focus on what matters to people using health and social care services.