Editorial

NMC hearings have a health risk

Nurses who are under investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) often have to wait months, even years, before their cases are heard. As you can imagine, waiting under such circumstances can take its toll on their mental health.

Nurses who are under investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) often have to wait months, even years, before their cases are heard. As you can imagine, waiting under such circumstances can take its toll on their mental health.

Stephanie Jones-Berry’s article reveals that the RCN counselling service has supported many nurses who have felt suicidal while they waited for their fate to be decided by the NMC.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has taken the mental health of members under investigation especially seriously. It has revealed that, in 2014, more than 25 doctors killed themselves while under investigation by the council.

The GMC is planning significant changes to ensure that the ‘mental health safety’ of doctors is a core element of its work.

In 2014, more than 25 doctors killed themselves while under investigation by the General Medical Council

Ms Jones-Berry has discovered that the NMC has no records of how many nurses have died while under investigation, although it hopes to learn from the GMC’s experiences.

Mental health nurses, like any other healthcare professionals, can be on the receiving end of complaints that could lead to investigations by the nursing regulator.

And of course, they are well placed to provide care and support to other nurses who are in a similar position.

I hope that the NMC will address this issue as a matter of urgency: nurses spend their lives supporting others, and it seems only fair that they should have a timely resolution to any investigations, and adequate support until they find out whether or not they can return to their careers.

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