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Ensuring fitness to practise is fit for the future

Proposed changes to the fitness to practise process will enable the NMC to make the right decisions at the right time, says chair Dame Janet Finch.

Proposed changes to the fitness to practise process will enable the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to make the right decisions at the right time, says chair Dame Janet Finch 

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is often in the news, and in the vast majority of cases coverage relates to the outcomes of our fitness to practise hearings. 

Despite the high profile cases featured in the media, the number of complaints we receive about nurses and midwives actually represents less than 1% of those on the register. 

To ensure we are making the right decisions at the right time, we have made a number of important changes over the years to improve our fitness to practise processes. Last year, we concluded 78% of cases within 15 months, but we need to do more. 

New powers 

On 24 October we launched our consultation on proposed changes to our processes, which will enable us to modernise the way we work. Working closely with the Department of Health, the changes would give us a range of new powers to deal with less serious matters more quickly and without the need for a full hearing, which we have long argued is hugely disproportionate.   

We would also be able to issue warnings if a nurse or midwife’s actions fall below our standards but do not pose a risk to the public, and agree undertakings and put in place agreed measures such as a supervised development plan, to address particular areas of concern about a registrant’s practice. 

The consultation is open until 19 December. To have your say find out more here


About the author 

Janet Finch

Professor Dame Janet Finch is chair of the NMC

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