Nursing and Midwife Council at the Health Select Committee accountability hearing

On Tuesday 16 October 2012 the House of Commons Health Select Committee, of which Valerie is a member, heard evidence from the Nursing and Midwife Council (NMC) at the annual accountability hearing.

The NMC is responsible for regulating nursing and midwifery in the United Kingdom. In the last year the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) reported substantial failings in the NMC’s delivery of regulatory functions.

Valerie said:

“I asked about the quality of the NMC’s ‘Fitness to Practice’ hearings and on the time they took to complete the investigation of cases. There was underinvestment in the hearings in the past. The Committee was told that the average investigation is now taking 11 months, down from 21 months in May 2011. While this is an improvement, the NMC said it was hoping to lower this to six months by the end of 2012. I asked about the backlog of hearings in the system; the Royal College of Nursing’s criticism is that 80% of the cases do not lead anywhere. I was told that last year approximately 350 registrants have been struck off.”

“I also asked about the system the NMC uses so the more important cases are identified early and are prioritized. The NMC said they now look at cases within 28 days of receiving a referral.”

“I also asked how the NMC will address the 15 recommendations the CHRE identified and the timeframe they were expected to be completed in and how the outcomes would be measured. The NMC told the Committee that each recommendation is monitored monthly, with individual recommendations having a time scale of between six months to 24 months to 3 years.

The transcript of the Committee Hearing can be viewed here. (Not available yet)

For more information about the NMC’s accountability hearing at the Health Select Committee, please click here.

For more information about the NMC, please click here.