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Authority welcomes independent report from the Nursing and Midwifery Council about concerns raised in our lessons learned review

We commend the NMC for commissioning this independent report. The report looks at the concerns we raised in the Lessons Learned Review about the loss of the chronology provided by one of the parents to the NMC, and the subsequent explanations provided to us by the NMC.

We note that the report’s findings are consistent with those of our review and that the report considers that the NMC’s letter to us was misleading.

The Authority relies on the regulators providing us with accurate information so that we can make appropriate decisions on whether or not fitness to practise decisions are sufficient to protect the public. While in this case the misleading information from the NMC did not materially affect our decision, it clearly had the potential to do so. We accept the NMC’s apology.

The events happened three years ago. What is important is that lessons should be learned from these events and that the NMC can continue its work in addressing them.

ENDS

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Contact: Mark Stobbs, Director of Scrutiny and Quality

Reception: 020 7389 8030
E: Mark.Stobbs@professionalstandards.org.uk

Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. 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.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. Our Lessons Learned Review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in 2017 following an investigation by Dr Bill Kirkup CBE, concluded in 2015, which found serious concerns about the clinical competence and integrity of the midwifery unit at Furness General Hospital between 2004 and 2014. The terms of reference for the Review are available here. The review was published in May 2018 and made a series of recommendations intended to aid the NMC and other regulators to improve their standards. These are focused on ways to improve engagement with patients and the public and to act in a transparent fashion. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk