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NMC fails to meet dealing with FtP caseload for third year in a row

Professional Standards Authority’s 2021-22 review found regulator met 17 of the 18 standards, but still taking too long to resolve cases for nurses

Professional Standards Authority’s 2021-22 review found regulator met 17 of the 18 standards, but still taking too long to resolve cases for nurses

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has failed to meet standards for dealing with fitness to practise (FtP) cases on time for the third year in a row.

An annual performance review for 2021-22 by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) found the NMC had met 17 of the 18 standards of good regulation, but was still taking too long to resolve FtP cases for nurses.

NMC ‘taking too long’ to deal with cases and significant

Professional Standards Authority’s 2021-22 review found regulator met 17 of the 18 standards, but still taking too long to resolve cases for nurses

The Nursing and Midwifery Council fails to meet dealing with FtP caseloads for third year in a row
Picture: Charles Milligan

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has failed to meet standards for dealing with fitness to practise (FtP) cases on time for the third year in a row.

An annual performance review for 2021-22 by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) found the NMC had met 17 of the 18 standards of good regulation, but was still taking too long to resolve FtP cases for nurses.

NMC ‘taking too long’ to deal with cases and significant backlog has developed, says PSA

The PSA has now escalated the concern by writing to health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey.

‘It is taking too long to deal with fitness to practise cases and a significant backlog of cases has developed,’ the PSA said in a statement.

‘Clearing the backlog is a top priority for the NMC: it has implemented an action plan and published regular progress reports to its council. But the action plan had mixed results this year, and there is still a backlog and serious delays.’

The review praised the NMC for several aspects of its practice, including its Ambitious for Change research and its new equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) plan for 2022-2025.

Regulator says tackling its fitness to practise backlog is a top priority

However, with backlogs exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic, some nurses face a wait of more than three years before their FtP case is resolved. The PSA said it would be monitoring the NMC closely to ensure progress is made.

The NMC said it recognised the impact that the delays can have on individuals, adding that tackling the case backlog was a top priority.

The regulator said it is dedicating more resources to this, including recruiting staff to increase the case turnover and concentrating on screening referrals at the primary stage to reduce unnecessary waits.

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: ‘While I’m pleased we’ve met 17 of the 18 standards of good regulation thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, I’m disappointed we haven’t been able to bring our fitness to practise caseload down as quickly as we planned.

‘We know being involved in our fitness to practise processes can be distressing for people, and we’re sorry to everyone who’s been waiting for a decision.’


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