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NHS England revalidation head questions 'late' cost analysis of new system

NHS England head of nursing and midwifery revalidation raises concerns about the costs of revalidation

NHS England's head of revalidation has questioned the amount of time it has taken the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to assess the costs to organisations of the new revalidation process.

The regulator is piloting the revalidation system by which nurses and midwives will demonstrate their fitness to practise every three years. It will replace post-registration education and practice (PREP).

Registrants will have to gather practice-related feedback, provide written reflections on the feedback and obtain confirmation from a third party, with revalidation likely to be linked to appraisals for most nurses.

Employers could incur additional costs by introducing software systems to store registrants' evidence of their fitness to practise, with nurses attending the conference raising concerns about how much revalidation could cost.

NHS England head of nursing and midwifery revalidation Maureen Kirwan said the NMC has only recently commissioned accountancy firm KPMG to do a cost

NHS England's head of revalidation has questioned the amount of time it has taken the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to assess the costs to organisations of the new revalidation process.

The regulator is piloting the revalidation system by which nurses and midwives will demonstrate their fitness to practise every three years. It will replace post-registration education and practice (PREP).

Registrants will have to gather practice-related feedback, provide written reflections on the feedback and obtain confirmation from a third party, with revalidation likely to be linked to appraisals for most nurses.

Employers could incur additional costs by introducing software systems to store registrants' evidence of their fitness to practise, with nurses attending the conference raising concerns about how much revalidation could cost.

NHS England head of nursing and midwifery revalidation Maureen Kirwan said the NMC has only recently commissioned accountancy firm KPMG to do a cost benefit analysis of revalidation.

Speaking at a Healthcare Conferences nursing appraisal and revalidation conference in London last week, Ms Kirwan said: 'The KPMG is picking up some of the questions. How much does it cost? How much is extra cost?

'The NMC is only just thinking about this now, and it is quite far down the process.'

The regulator is piloting revalidation with 19 organisations in the UK including large hospital trusts and boards, mental health trusts, nurse agencies and private healthcare groups.

NMC council will make a decision in October on whether to roll revalidation out across the four UK countries and the first cohort of nurses will use the process from next April.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust associate director of leadership, education and development Bobby Moth said the trust has researched software solutions to store nurses' evidence towards revalidation and they are all 'quite costly'.

NMC director of strategy Jon Billings told the conference that no additional funding will be provided by the NMC to NHS organisations to help with the introduction of revalidation.

He added: 'We have got KPMG working with us and they are undertaking an evaluation of the readiness and the financial impact, so we can make some assessments across the system.

'Organisations will have just had budget cuts so they are pressurised, but for us, revalidation has not got to be over and above what you are already doing.'

Responding to the concerns raised at the conference, an NMC spokesperson said KPMG began a cost benefit analysis at the start of 2015 to look at the costs of revalidation to healthcare organisations and NMC itself. The findings of the KPMG report, as well as those of the 19 revalidation pilots, will be considered by council members at their July meeting.

Asked whether any financial support will be provided to organisations for the introduction of revalidation, the NMC spokesperson said the new model will build on requirements nurses already need to meet under PREP. 'The pilots will help guide the effective implementation of revalidation and the KPMG work will highlight the benefits and resources required.'

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