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NMC issues advice to nurses on responding to incidents and emergencies

Nurses and midwives are being reminded that they should get themselves to a place of safety in the event of a terrorist attack.
Manchester terrorist attack

Nurses and midwives are being reminded that they should get themselves to a place of safety in the event of a terrorist attack.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has published guidance for nursing staff who become involved in unexpected incidents or emergencies away from their place of work.

Based on the NMC code, it follows similar guidelines issued by the RCN following recent terror events.

Nurses are advised it is important that if you find yourself in an unclear situation you should follow official government guidance to run, hide and

Nurses and midwives are being reminded that they should get themselves to a place of safety in the event of a terrorist attack.


If you find yourself in an unclear situation you should follow official guidance
to run, hide and tell. Picture: Getty Images

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has published guidance for nursing staff who become involved in unexpected incidents or emergencies away from their place of work.

Based on the NMC code, it follows similar guidelines issued by the RCN following recent terror events.

Nurses are advised it is ‘important that if you find yourself in an unclear situation you should follow official government guidance to run, hide and tell’.

Place of safety

Healthcare professionals often instinctively go to the aid of people in need, but the NMC says they should first assess the situation to ensure it is safe.

If the situation is unclear, the NMC advises nurses and midwives to move to a place of safety and ensure they or someone close to them contacts the emergency services.

‘Only then should you consider providing care if it is safe to do so,’ the NMC says.

Other options

‘There is no expectation that you should put your own safety at risk. The NMC’s Code makes clear that nurses and midwives must take account of their own safety, the safety of others and the availability of other care options.’

The NMC adds that nurses and midwives may be able to provide help but should follow the advice of emergency services, including if they are told to find a place of safety.

Staff who are near or at their place of work when an incident occurs should follow their employer’s emergency and major incident planning policy, the NMC says.

Nursing staff are also reminded that if they are involved in such a traumatic incident, they should not be afraid to access health and counselling services to cope with the aftermath.


Further information

  • Read the NMC guidance here

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