For a fourth year, Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have met 17 out the 18 Standards of Good Regulation as set out by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). In the report, the PSA noted improvements made by the NMC since its last report, including:
- the quality of the NMC’s engagement with stakeholders, with feedback describing us as collaborative, and being ‘open and receptive to ideas and suggestions;
- the NMC’s updated pre-registration education standards, giving educators greater flexibility to deliver courses at the cutting edge of education;
- the NMC’s ongoing work to address inequalities and disparities within our regulatory processes for people with different characteristics, including the second phase of our Ambitious for Change research;
- making changes to our English language requirements to ensure our processes are as fair and proportionate as possible.
The PSA report said:
“Safely reducing the FtP caseload remains a clear focus for the NMC and it is working to achieve this.
“Although the caseload has reduced during 2022-23 and there are fewer cases over a year old, there is more work to do to address the backlog of cases in FtP.
“We will look in more detail at the impact of the changes the NMC has made to its FtP processes in our periodic review next year.”
The NMC did not meet standard 15, which focuses on how quickly we conclude FtP cases. On its website, the NMC wrote:
“We’ve been open about the challenges presented by our high caseload, and reducing it remains our top priority. We’re making progress: the caseload has come down by 14 percent since April 2022, and the screening caseload is now at its lowest level since September 2020. We’ll continue to monitor and build on this progress in the coming months”
Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:
“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to meet 17 of the PSA’s standards, and it’s particularly encouraging to see such positive feedback from the partners we’ve worked with over the past year, for example when updating our English language requirements and pre-registration education standards.
“I also welcome the PSA’s recognition of our work to address the fact that people from different backgrounds have different experiences of our regulatory processes, and of our proactive engagement with inquiries into failings in patient care.
“It’s disappointing that we again haven’t been able to meet the standard on fitness to practise timeliness. As a result, people are waiting longer than they should for a decision, and I know this can be distressing for both members of the public raising concerns, and for the professionals those concerns are about.
“While it’s encouraging that our caseload has reduced by 14 percent over the last year, there’s still more work to do. That’s why this remains our top priority – we’re continuing to make improvements and focus resources in this area so we can reach decisions on cases as quickly and safely as possible.”
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