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Tuesday 18th June 2019

NMC 'letting down' patients

3rd July 2012

An independent review has found failings "at every level" of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Baby Ward

The UK's 670,000 nurses and midwives must register with the NMC, a regulatory body which deals with complaints, in order to work. The NMC have issued an apology for its "substantial failings".

The report, by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), showed the NMC had a yearly staff turnover rate of almost a third (31%).

The CHRE report found that almost 4,500 cases were still waiting for a decision to be made by the NMC and about 1,000 had not been given a hearing date.

Some of the cases against nurses or midwives dated back to 2005 although the NMC was holding 15 hearings a day. 

The report detailed 14 recommendations for the regulator, including improving its attitude of "resigned resilience".

CHRE chief executive Harry Cayton said: "The public have been let down. It doesn't mean nursing is unsafe - but the public, nurses and midwives ought to feel confident in the regulator. They haven't been able to."

"Significant delay in managing fitness to practise cases in itself introduces risks. The NMC is fulfilling its functions, but not to the standard or quality that the public have a right to expect."

"The regulator must finally leave its troubled past behind. New leaders must be appointed who are competent, credible and capable of addressing its very serious organisational problems." 


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