Guidance for observers
A clinical observer is a doctor attached to a clinical unit with a named supervisor. Their broad aims are to gain an appreciation of the nature of clinical practice in the UK and observe the role of doctors within the NHS.
If you are interested in a clinical observership, please read through the details below before applying.
Observers are not authorised by the Trust to provide services of any kind either in an employed or honorary capacity and are not entitled to expenses.
Whilst on clinical placement, observers are not permitted under any circumstances to:
- undertake clinical procedures and prescribe
- order diagnostic tests or radiological examinations
- take specimens
- initiate, advise, order or stop the treatment of patients
- teach clinical procedures
- assist with laboratory work
- Examine a patient
Observers must be under supervision by the designated clinical supervisor to observe in theatre, take a clinical history under supervision, and contribute to a discussion on diagnosis with the team post-treatment (but not diagnose or advise treatment).
To improve security, all observers are required to wear a photo identification badge when on the hospital premises. You will receive this during your first day on placement at Alder Hey, you must ensure this is returned on the final day of your observership.
All attendance in all clinical areas must be always supervised.
All observers are subject to the same verification checks and obligations as all Alder Hey staff with respect to the following:
- Immigration status
- Occupational health requirements
- Criminal records
Observers are always required to behave in accordance with departmental policies and procedures established by the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
The observership placement may be withdrawn at any time if the observer is found to be in breach of any Alder Hey policies, procedures, or the terms of this agreement. It may also be withdrawn for any other reason at the discretion of the Chief Medical Officer.
During the placement, observers must not present themselves as an employee of the Alder Hey. The observer accepts that Alder Hey shall not incur any legal liability upon the termination of this appointment or offer any indemnity for NHS work. Alder Hey is responsible for the health and safety of each observer whilst on Alder Hey premises during the placement, provided that each observer complies with all Alder Hey requirements.
The observership clinical placement should be structured with objectives and learning outcomes agreed upon at the beginning of the attachment with the named consultant and successful applicant.
A clinical observership placement should be a maximum of four weeks (unless there is a specific clinical requirement for a longer placement). In specific instances, placements may be extended to six weeks.
The focus will be on the quality of the placement, and not on the length, with a further requirement that the designated supervisor agrees to a set of objectives to ensure that clear outcomes are identified with the observer at the very earliest stage of their placement experience. All discussions in relation to each placement – where the applicant has been approved – will require direct involvement and identification of a designated supervisor.
All placement applications may be rejected should the learning outcomes not be possible within the clinical service at Alder Hey.
How to apply
If you are interested in coming to the Alder Hey as a clinical observer, then please email [email protected] with the following details:
- A formal letter of interest and Curriculum Vitae (CV)
If applying from overseas then we will also require:
- A copy of your passport
- Your immigration clearance where relevant
- A confirmatory letter from your sponsor where relevant.
Applications take up to three months to process – application requests to attend with less than three months’ notice will not be accepted.
It is your responsibility to arrange accommodation for the duration of your placement, we have no onsite accommodation but there are options available in the wider area including Broadgreen Hospital (a few miles from Alder Hey). Please note they are independent and not connected to the Alder Hey.