The Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) has published its annual performance review of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The NMC’s register covers almost 691,000 nurses and midwives practising in the UK.
We assessed the NMC’s performance in 2016/17 against our Standards of Good Regulation. The NMC met all but one of the 24 Standards. This is the same as in the previous year.
The NMC failed to meet one of our Standards on fitness to practise relating to keeping parties to fitness to practise cases updated about, and supported through, the process. As part of our Lessons Learned Review of how the NMC handled complaints into midwives’ fitness to practise at Furness General Hospital we noted significant concerns about the way in which the NMC communicated and dealt with patients and families. As a result, we considered that the NMC performance did not meet this Standard.
Mark Stobbs, Director of Scrutiny and Quality said: ‘The NMC has improved the timeliness of its case handling. However, our concerns about the way in which it deals with families and patients as identified in the Lessons Learned Review, apply beyond those cases and the NMC must change its behaviour. While it has already taken steps to do so, including introducing a new Public Support Service, it still has some way to go. We will be assessing their progress in our next performance review.’
More information about how we reached our decision is set out in our Performance Review - NMC 2016/17 or read a summary in our snapshot.
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Director Standards and Policy
Reception: 020 7389 8030
Notes to the Editor
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
- The Standards of Good Regulation are designed to ensure that the regulators are protecting the public but also promoting confidence in health and care professionals and themselves. The Standards cover the regulators’ four core functions: setting and promoting guidance and standards for the profession; setting standards for and quality assuring the provision of education and training; maintaining a register of professionals; and taking action where a professional’s fitness to practise may be impaired.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
- We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
- The Nursing and Midwifery Council regulates the nursing and midwifery professions in the UK. Its work includes: setting and maintaining standards of practice and conduct in the professions; maintaining a register of qualified professionals; assuring the quality of education and training for nurses and midwives; requiring registrants to keep their skills up to date through continuing professional development; taking action to restrict or remove from practice registrants who are not considered fit to practise. As at 31 March 2017, the NMC was responsible for a register of 690,773 nurses and midwives. Its annual retention fee for registrants is £120.
- Our values are at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are committed to being impartial, fair, accessible and consistent in the application of our values.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk