Chief nursing officer tells NMC 'England is ready for revalidation'

Announcement means all four countries in the UK are ready for new system to begin in April 2016

Revalidation for nurses will be rolled out across the UK on time after England’s health chiefs belatedly signalled they are ready to proceed as planned.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved the new process of re-registering nurses and midwives every three years when its Council met three weeks ago on October 8.

The chief nursing officers (CNOs) for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had announced in advance of the meeting that their respective countries were ready; the representatives from NHS England and the Department for Health (DH) – acting as England Revalidation Board – had not.

Today, however, England’s CNO and England Revalidation Board chair Jane Cummings has written to NMC registrar Jackie Smith to back its decision as well.

Ms Cummings writes: ‘During the last few months the Board has noted increased readiness across all sectors for the introduction of revalidation and recognises the work that has been undertaken by the NMC to respond positively to concerns and questions raised.’

She adds she was ‘grateful’ to the NMC for taking feedback on board and updating the guidance published following the decision of the council.

The letter continues: ‘I am now content for revalidation to proceed in England from April 2016’. It states that the board expects a thorough and robust system of monitoring the new regulations to be in place so front line care is not impacted negatively.

It concludes: ‘The England Board stands ready to work closely with the NMC, and with the other UK countries, to increase awareness of and readiness for revalidation across all sectors and reduce any remaining risks.’

In response Ms Smith said: ‘We warmly welcome today’s confirmation that England is ready for the implementation of revalidation.

‘With all four UK countries ready, we look forward to continuing to work closely with them as well as employers, trade unions and professional bodies, to help support the UK’s 684,000 nurses and midwives through the new process.

‘The introduction of revalidation is the most significant change to regulation in a generation and we firmly believe that it will give the public confidence that the people who care for them are continuously striving to improve their practice.’

In recent days unsubstantiated stories had arisen suggesting that the DH was looking to delay revalidation by up to two years, or create a system that would allow financially hard-up hospital trusts to opt out of supporting nurses through the process.

The letter can be read in full here


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