The Independent reported on documents that “laid bare concerns of ‘toxic’ issues” within the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

We reported, according to a report in The Independent, a NMC whistleblower said their concerns, flagged to the NMC, were met with “the same defensive management culture, prioritisation of its own reputation over its legal obligations, and poor treatment of whistleblowers that has recently been criticised as the reason for Lucy Letby not being prevented from practising earlier”.

An internal report from last year, kept secret by the NMC, details interviews with 41 staff members, as well as multiple exit interviews, between April 2021 and March 2022.

The NMC have now issued a further response.

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Andrea Sutcliffe, the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Chief Executive and Registrar, says:

“I’m so sorry that anyone has personally suffered or observed racism at the NMC. I want the NMC to be an anti-racist organisation and it’s clear we’ve got a long way to go to achieve that.

“I absolutely accept that experiences of some of my colleagues from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds have not been good enough and that when they’ve raised concerns, these have not always been acted on or acted on quickly enough.  There’s so much more we must do to embed the safe, inclusive and supportive culture we all want to see.  People feel let down by the slow progress we’ve made and I’m determined that we must go further and faster to make our working environment and experiences for colleagues the best they can be.

“As a professional regulator in health and social care, it’s our core responsibility to make decisions that keep people safe. We’ve made improvements in our guidance and training for Fitness to Practise colleagues.  I hope that’s made us more consistent in what we mean by discrimination, bullying, victimisation and harassment, and how seriously allegations like this need to be taken. But I know we don’t get it right every time and we must learn when we make mistakes.

“It’s imperative we now investigate all of the concerns raised with us and we are in the process of appointing external, independent experts to lead those investigations with care, with rigour and with full transparency.  

“I recognise we’ve a long way to go in building people’s full trust and confidence and we are resolutely committed to asking ourselves the hard questions, acting quickly where we need to improve and being proactive to eliminate all forms of discrimination.”

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