To serve better: addressing poor performance in occupational therapy

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9 Citations (Scopus)


A health care professional is not always ‘the right person, doing the right thing, in the right way, in the right place, at the right time and with the right result’ (Mead, quoted in Potter 2000, p3). In some renowned cases, health care professionals' interventions have resulted in the deaths of patients. For this reason and others, such as unacceptable variation in practice, poor performance is one of the six aspects of clinical governance, which is an integrated quality framework (Sealey 1999). Clinical governance, although a National Health Service development, has implications for all occupational therapists, whatever setting they work in.

This discussion paper presents the concept of poor performance in the context of performance management, which is a mechanism for the early identification and the remedying of poor performance. Early recognition, feedback on performance, decisive intervention and effective self-regulation are the headings used to frame this discussion. The implications for occupational therapists nationally, locally and personally are also explored. The central theme is that identifying and dealing with poor performance is every occupational therapist's personal responsibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-528
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2000


  • occupational therapy
  • performance analysis
  • performance management
  • poor performance


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