New tool to improve patient safety
Employers of the UK's 660,000 registered nurses and midwives are being given a new tool to support them in carrying out their responsibility of ensuring the health and wellbeing of the public
We've been talking to employers
In 2009 the NMC met with employers across the UK to find out what information they needed from the NMC. The result was Advice and information for employers of nurses and midwives.
Introduction to the NMC
It introduces employers, not all of whom will be a nurse or midwife, to the NMC, and informs employers about their responsibilities for making sure their nurses and midwives continue to meet the registration requirements and are fit to practise.
How fitness to practise works
The guide also informs employers about the process for referring someone to the NMC for investigation. To help them understand the time normally required for fitness to practise cases, the guide includes the 65 week timeline of the fitness to practise process from the time a case is opened to the completion of a hearing.
NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes said:
"Not everyone involved in the employment of nurses and midwives will be a nurse or midwife themselves so we need to make sure everyone understands our role and the joint responsibility we share in ensuring the health and wellbeing of the public.
"The way in which healthcare is delivered is changing, particularly as more care is moved into the community. Employers are responsible for the conduct and performance of their staff and will need to develop new and innovative ways to ensure their nurses and midwives receive regular appraisals and that education and training opportunities are made available.
"Our role is not to punish nurses and midwives. Our role is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public from nurses and midwives whose fitness to practise is impaired and whose situation cannot be managed locally. This new guide will help employers to identify when they should be referring someone to us for investigation and when they should be managing these issues through their own disciplinary procedures."
Meet the NMC
Coupled with Advice and information for employers of nurses and midwives, Professor Weir-Hughes has invited directors of nursing, heads of midwifery and HR directors to a series of events where they will learn more about the NMC's fitness to practise processes and have the opportunity to discuss any issues they may have about them.
Aims for fitness to practise cases
The NMC aims to have 90 percent of cases completed within the 65 week timeline in 2010-2011. Nearly 70 percent of cases are currently either meeting or exceeding this target. The timeline represents the point at which a case if referred to the NMC to the point at which the case is completed at a hearing.
Nursing & Midwifery Council
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