Disciplinary cases backlog for nurses and midwives17th October 2012
The Nursing and Midwifery Council's chief executive has told MPs it will take over two years to get through the backlog of disciplinary cases.
Jackie Smith said the amount of time it would take to deal with the cases was "unacceptably long" but she had to be "honest and realistic" about the problems the NMC was facing.
She informed the health select committee: "We expect to clear the backlog by the end of 2014. That is two years away and is unacceptably long."
The NMC is responsible for the registration and regulation of the 670,000 nurses and midwives in the UK.
It has a backlog of 4,500 cases, of which 1,400 have not yet had an interim hearing.
The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence released a report earlier this year which said the NMC was experiencing failure "at every level".
The government has said it would give the NMC a £20 million payment to help it solve the problem.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "Following a period when we have heard so many terrible abuses in the care of older people and vulnerable patients, it is important that organisations like the NMC are in the right shape to properly perform their job of protecting patients."
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