Comment

01.04.16

NMC set for a big year of change

Source: NHE Mar/Apr 16

Tom Kirkbride, director of registration at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), on revalidation and the major projects the regulator is undertaking this year.

As director of registration of the NMC my work contributes to ensuring that the NMC is responsive to the ever-changing needs of modern health and care services. 

It is fair to say that public expectations of regulators have changed in recent years, not least as a result of various reports about high-profile failings in health and social care. The nature and context of nursing and midwifery practice are shifting rapidly. At the same time as the workforce responds to demographic trends and the global mobility of both patients and professionals, we as a regulator must ensure that when we accept people onto our register, we prioritise patient safety while recognising the need for our processes to be proportionate and efficient. 

As a result of this, we are faced with a number of challenges in the health and social care environment, in society more broadly, and within our own organisation here at the NMC. All of our big projects, which aim to meet these challenges, have a direct impact on the way we register nurses and midwives. 

Changes to legislation 

There is an overwhelming consensus that the NMC’s current legislation is out of date, inefficient and costly. It does not serve the public or the professions well and it means we are currently spending the majority of our resources (77% of our budget) on addressing concerns raised about less than 1% of our registrants. Clearly, this does not make practical or economic sense and we have been pressing hard for a modern legal framework. 

It is welcome news that the government recently agreed to consult on making some urgent changes to our legislation, one of the most significant being that we will be able to further reduce the time it takes to deal with those who put the public at risk. There are a total of nine proposed changes relating to our fitness to practise function being sought which, if agreed, will speed up our processes while still protecting the public. 

Midwifery supervision 

The government will also begin consulting on removing statutory midwifery supervision from the NMC’s legislation. As seen through the tragic events at Morecambe Bay, and emphasised in the subsequent King’s Fund report, the current set up for statutory supervision of midwives is open to conflicts of interest which are not in the best interests of public protection. 

The proposed changes will strengthen public protection and remove an unnecessary layer of regulation. We have been pressing for this change following recommendations that the NMC should have direct control of all regulatory decisions about midwives in the same way that we have for nurses. 

Education standards 

Evidence tells us that while our education standards are broadly right for today they need to look different in the future in order to meet the changing demands that the health and care environment will place on the nurses of tomorrow. 

Therefore, in the coming months, we will be undertaking a fundamental review of our pre-registration education standards, to ensure that the nurses of the future are equipped with the skills and competencies they need. Stakeholders have already told us that they would like our standards to be more outcomes-focused, concise and clear, so we will be heavily invested in this review over the coming year. 

Revalidation 

This year sees the first nurses and midwives to go through the new process of revalidation in order to renew their registration with the NMC. Revalidation requires every one of the 685,000 nurses and midwives on our register to regularly reflect on their practice, engage with other professionals, raise awareness of the Code and professional standards expected of nurses and midwives so that they ‘live’ these standards. 

In turn, this should strengthen public confidence in the nursing and midwifery profession as well as bringing additional public protection benefits. Thousands of nurses and midwives have now gone through this process and have found it simple and straightforward. 

Last year, the Professional Standards Authority, which oversees the nine healthcare regulators, recognised that we had made considerable progress as an organisation, meeting several more of their Standards of Good Regulation than the year before. 

Considering the significant challenges the NMC has faced in the past, this was a major achievement. But we know that there is still plenty more to do and this coming year will see us taking further steps towards delivering our mission to protect patients and the public effectively and efficiently.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Number of nurses increases by 8,570 in the past year

27/02/2020Number of nurses increases by 8,570 in the past year

The Government has announced nursing numbers in the NHS have gone up by 8,570 nurses over the past year, as they work towards their ambitious goa... more >
NHS Digital annual report shows increase in adult social care workforce

27/02/2020NHS Digital annual report shows increase in adult social care workforce

An additional 1,000 adult social services roles were filled in local authorities across England, according to the latest NHS Digital annual repor... more >
NICE recommends new treatment for follicular lymphoma

27/02/2020NICE recommends new treatment for follicular lymphoma

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published final draft guidance approving a new treatment option for patien... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

24/02/2020Too much emphasis on leadership development… and not enough

Words by Dean Royles and Kevan Taylor, who continue their regular contribution to NHE’s blog content. Kevan and Dean work in organisations and systems providing strategic support, advice and development. Every time the NHS goes through one of its many, many structural reorganisations, there is a renewed emphasis on the importance of leadership development. This is a good thing. We know the importance and value of good leadership a... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

interviews

Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through your previous roles within the NHS? I’ve held a number of ... more >
Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual conference, Matt Hancock highlighted what he believes to be the three... more >
NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took steps towards her midwifery dreams. Lisa Payne has been delivering ... more >
How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us th... more > more last word articles >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

health service focus

Royal Voluntary Service: The power of NHS volunteers

25/02/2020Royal Voluntary Service: The power of NHS volunteers

Sam Ward, Deputy CEO and Director of Services... more >
APCC: Cracking down on illegal sales of medicines with communication

25/02/2020APCC: Cracking down on illegal sales of medicines with communication

Hardyal Dhindsa, Association of Police and Cr... more >