Comment

Nurse leader: Shaping the future of regulation

With the support of government ministers, the NMC can reform its legal framework to better reflect the regulator's range of responsibilities, says Janet Finch. 
Janet Finch

With the support of government ministers, the NMC can reform its legal framework to better reflect the regulator's range of responsibilities, says Janet Finch

The last few months have seen some significant political changes. Among the new ministerial team at the Department of Health, Philip Dunne has taken over responsibility for professional regulation, within his broader portfolio.

While professional regulators are rightly independent from government, our relationship with ministers and officials is important. I have written to the new minister to congratulate him, and both Nursing and Midwifery Council chief executive Jackie Smith and I look forward to working with him.

List of priorities

One of our top priorities for which we need ministerial support is securing reform of our legal framework. This is necessary so we can rebalance our activities and resources to better reflect our range of responsibilities as regulator.

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With the support of government ministers, the NMC can reform its legal framework to better reflect the regulator's range of responsibilities, says Janet Finch

The last few months have seen some significant political changes. Among the new ministerial team at the Department of Health, Philip Dunne has taken over responsibility for professional regulation, within his broader portfolio.

While professional regulators are rightly independent from government, our relationship with ministers and officials is important. I have written to the new minister to congratulate him, and both Nursing and Midwifery Council chief executive Jackie Smith and I look forward to working with him.

List of priorities

One of our top priorities – for which we need ministerial support – is securing reform of our legal framework. This is necessary so we can rebalance our activities and resources to better reflect our range of responsibilities as regulator.

The NMC dedicates huge resources to its fitness to practise work, dealing with those who fall below the expected standards of nurses and midwives. This is despite less than 1% of the nurses and midwives on our register being referred to us.

Accessibility to resources

Proposed changes to our legislation will mean we can develop more proportionate processes, with new powers to resolve some of the less contentious matters more simply and quickly. This will enable us to put more resources into promoting good practice, focusing on areas such as revalidation, education and standards.

We look forward to being able to make these changes and we hope that, with Mr Dunne’s support, they will come into effect as soon as possible.


About the author

Janet Finch

Professor Dame Janet Finch is chair of the NMC

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