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Fitness to practise: NMC offers new hope for cutting its backlog

Nursing and Midwifery Council ramps up efforts to reduce agonising waiting times faced by nurses in FtP cases – but delays have long proved hard to tackle and staff shortages aren’t helping
NMC is aiming to reduce it s backlog of FtP cases

Nursing and Midwifery Council ramps up efforts to reduce agonising waiting times faced by nurses in FtP cases – but delays have long proved hard to tackle and staff shortages aren’t helping

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said it will step up efforts to reduce its longstanding fitness to practise (FtP) cases backlog.

It aims its cut its caseload to under 5,000 by the end of March 2023, which means as many of 200 cases will need to be processed every month between now and then.

The regulator’s council members heard at a meeting on 23 November that the backlog – which has remained stubbornly high for a number of years – is diminishing. And although an improvement plan was in place, the

Nursing and Midwifery Council ramps up efforts to reduce agonising waiting times faced by nurses in FtP cases – but delays have long proved hard to tackle and staff shortages aren’t helping

NMC is aiming to reduce it s backlog of FtP cases

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said it will step up efforts to reduce its longstanding fitness to practise (FtP) cases backlog.

It aims its cut its caseload to under 5,000 by the end of March 2023, which means as many of 200 cases will need to be processed every month between now and then.

The regulator’s council members heard at a meeting on 23 November that the backlog – which has remained stubbornly high for a number of years – is diminishing. And although an improvement plan was in place, the NMC blames staff vacancies for stalled progress, official council papers state.

NMC registrants face painfully long FtP processes

The body’s own regulator, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) raised concerns in September with the then health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey after an annual review found the NMC was continuing to take too long to resolve FtP cases. It had failed, for the third year in a row, to meet deadlines for dealing with FtP cases, with some registrants facing waits of more than three years for their cases to be resolved.

However, one council member said the NMC was not alone in failing to meet FtP standards, claiming six out of ten healthcare regulators were in the same position. She praised NMC executive director of professional regulation Lesley Maslen, who joined in August, for taking ‘systemic jumps’ in her new role.

In reply, Ms Maslen stated: ‘I am confident we can crack this.’


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