The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has published its first “Spotlight on Nursing and Midwifery” report that it says shows  “insights” from its work to “support sector wide learning and improvement for the benefit of people who receive care.”

It continued by saying that the report

“signals our commitment to make better use of our regulatory data. The insights in the report come together to tell a powerful story about contemporary nursing and midwifery practice – one we will build on each year. ”

Recurring themes when maternity care goes wrong

The NMC has analysed its fitness to practise data, which indicates some recurring themes when maternity care goes wrong. These include delays in escalating care in emergencies, together with poor communication between colleagues, and with women and families. It said this data reflects “some of the issues raised in recent inquiries.”

The NMC previously said a priority for the regulator is “to work with its partners to help address issues in maternity care.”

The report also showed that growth of the UK nursing and midwifery workforce has been increasingly reliant on international recruitment over recent years, but support is not always evident.  New international recruits who shared worrying experiences, including:

  • not feeling respected or treated the same as colleagues
  • racist and derogatory language
  • feeling misled during recruitment processes.
Insight Works Training

Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“There are more than 788,000 professionals on our register, whose knowledge and skill are vital to all our health and wellbeing. But on the rare occasions that care goes wrong, it’s often down to common factors getting in the way of the safe, effective and kind care people have a right to receive.

“We’re shining a light on those factors, including further evidence of racism and discrimination. We’ve spoken to some international recruits who have shared troubling stories about their formative months in UK practice. Supporting every professional to thrive is key to retention of staff, and to ensuring high-quality care for people.

“Meanwhile new starters across the professions aren’t always getting the standard of support they need to feel confident in their roles. And in maternity care, there are more signs that workplace cultures aren’t always supporting midwives to escalate concerns or communicate effectively with women and families.

“This is just the start of our journey toward better use of regulatory insight so we can keep on speaking up for a healthy and inclusive environment for our professions, for the benefit of everyone touched by nursing and midwifery care.”

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