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NMC launches new approach to fitness to practise complaints

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NMC launches new approach to fitness to practise complaints

Following research conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), it was determined that their Fitness to Practise processes needed to change.

From the responses to this research, the NMC identified that nine out of ten of the respondents, such as members of the public; nurses; and midwives, felt that those being investigated should be encouraged to learn from their mistakes. The NMC also recognised that the context of any incident should be taken into consideration.

The research also suggested that participants felt as though it was not always necessary to remove a professional from the NMC register, even when there had been serious harm to a patient, and that encouraging those concerned to learn from their mistakes would positively impact the fitness to practise process.

As such, the NMC have begun to implement new measures into their fitness to practise processes as of 5th September 2018. These include:

  • Providing support to employers, nurses and midwives so as to encourage those involved in the fitness to practise process to learn from their mistakes;
  • Providing improved support and information to the patient or members of the public making the complaint;
  • Providing a dedicated point of contact to the patient or members of public making the complaint; and
  • Taking into account the context of mistakes made in decision making.

This research and the fitness to practise process changes follow the public consultation that was launched on 4th April 2018. The consultation was launched with the aim of creating a learning culture whilst enhancing patient safety. The NMC wanted to move forward from large numbers of hearings in cases where nurses and midwives had spoken up early and engaged in learning from their mistakes. The overall aim is to lessen the impact of the fitness to practise process for all of those involved.

At Stephensons, we have a team of specialist NMC fitness to practise lawyers who have extensive experience in representing and advising nurses and midwives involved in NMC investigations and fitness to practice proceedings. If you find yourself in a situation where your fitness to practise is being investigated, we have a dedicated team who will be able to assist you. For more information, call our specialist NMC lawyers now on 01616 966 229.