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PSA statement on whistleblower’s concern about NMC’s fitness to practise backlogs

The Independent published an article about the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s fitness to practise backlogs in response to concerns shared with us by a whistleblower.

Our statement is below:

We are grateful to the whistleblower for raising concerns about the Nursing and Midwifery Council with us. It took courage to raise these concerns and we know the toll that whistleblowing can take on individuals.

We met with the whistleblower in October 2023 and discussed how we will take forward the information shared with us. Since then we have been copied in to further communications about the concerns raised. We have also responded directly to the whistleblower following their communication to the PSA this week.

We agree that their concerns are serious and have the potential to impact public protection. As part of our role, we assess regulators, including the NMC, against our Standards of Good Regulation. These Standards are designed to assess whether regulators are performing their role in a manner that protects the public, upholds professional standards and maintains confidence in the profession. We undertake our assessments on an annual basis, reviewing evidence throughout the year in order to form judgements at the end of each review period as to whether our Standards are met. The whistleblower’s concerns form an important part of the evidence base for our current review of the NMC, which runs from July 2023 to June 2024.

We are aware that the NMC has commissioned independent external investigations into the matters raised by the whistleblower. The Charity Commission has also initiated an investigation. We have been engaging with both the NMC and the Charity Commission in relation to these and will be monitoring their progress carefully. The outcomes of these investigations and how the NMC responds to them will be important evidence for us, informing any additional work we may undertake. We retain the right to launch our own investigation, in addition and separate to our performance review process, at any time. We are keeping the Department of Health and Social Care informed about the situation and our work relating to the issues raised.

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Note to Editors


  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 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. 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. There is also a set of General Standards that cover equality, diversity and inclusion as well as how well the regulators engage with stakeholders.
  4. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  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. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  8. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at