Adult social care nursing: NMC chief champions ‘disregarded and undermined’ staff

Andrea Sutcliffe says they display a high level of knowledge, skills and competence

Andrea Sutcliffe says they display a high level of knowledge, skills and competence

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe

The head of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has criticised viewpoints that suggest adult social care nurses are somehow ‘less skilled’ than fellow healthcare professionals.

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe told the Care England Conference in London that since joining the regulator 11 months ago, she had heard concerns that adult social care nurses were sometimes being ‘disregarded and undermined’.

Adult social care nurses are just as important as other nurses, says NMC head

‘Nurses working in adult social care should never be made to feel as though they are less important or less skilled than nurses working in the health sector,’ Ms Sutcliffe said.

‘In many cases an adult social care nurse is one of only a few registered nurses in their service, responsible for managing and providing care to people with increasingly complex needs, which requires a high level of knowledge, skills and competence.’

About 40,000 nurses work in adult social care in England, but an audit by the Health Foundation earlier this year found a 32% turnover rate among nurses in the sector.

The foundation warned that poor pay and conditions were a major threat to care quality and the future of the sector as a whole.

Campaign to fill vacancies in adult social care

In February, the Department of Health and Social Care launched a recruitment campaign to fill the 110,000 vacancies across the sector in England.

Care England chief executive Martin Green told the conference that Ms Sutcliffe’s comments showed she was ‘committed’ to nurses across both health and social care.

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