The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have published a draft new plan to “make the biggest investment in fitness to practise in a decade”.

Writing on its website, the NMC said:

We’ve been transparent about our timeliness challenges in fitness to practise. Despite the best and sustained efforts of our NMC colleagues, people are waiting longer than they should for cases to be resolved. That has a personal impact on members of the public and professionals, and impedes our ability to regulate well.  

“Now there is a changing context, including an increase in the number of new concerns being raised with us. We have received an average of 493 referrals per month since April 2023, compared to 417 in the same period last year – an increase of 18 percent. In February 2024 alone, 596 new concerns were raised. Therefore we are asking our Council to approve a substantially increased investment in fitness to practise.”

NMC Areas of Priorities

  • Referral quality, safety and supporting stakeholders through our processes  
  • Safe and swift progression of cases at screening and investigations  
  • Releasing capacity in case preparation and presentation, and investigations  
  • Delivering sustainable change in case preparation and presentation  
  • Improving the quality and timeliness of decisions at the adjudication stage 
  • People, culture and organisational design  
  • Improving our systems.
UK Fitness to Practise News

Lesley Maslen, NMC Executive Director of Professional Regulation, said: 

“Thanks to the hard work of our colleagues, we’ve improved our fitness to practise processes over the last few years and increased the number of decisions we make. But we’re still not resolving enough cases swiftly, and feedback from our colleagues tells us they’re feeling overwhelmed. 

“We need a fitness to practise service that is truly person-centred, collaborative, and straightforward for everyone involved. That’s why our new plan commits £30 million to fitness to practise over the next three years, with a particular focus on investment and improvement over the next 18 months. It will ensure we can continue making decisions that keep people safe, but in a more timely and considerate way that will be sustainable into the future.   

“We are building on strong foundations. We have a new senior team in place, and better data from process reviews and modelling about the impact of our caseload. That insight has enabled us to shape this plan, which will realise our determination to resolve cases as safely and swiftly as possible, for the benefit of the public and the professionals on our register.” 

The full plan is subject to approval by our governing Council at its next public meeting in London on 27 March.

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