The NMC, the nursing and midwifery regulator for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has published its Fitness to Practise Annual Report (2017 – 2018) (the “Annual FtPC Report”).
In its Annual FtPC Report, the NMC identified a number of changes which had been made during 2017 – 2018 to improve its effectiveness and efficiency in protecting the public. Aimed at delivering financial savings and to make the process fairer and more proportionate, these changes will be of interest to regulators in this jurisdiction.
In order to effect these changes, legislative amendments to the NMC’s fitness to practise legislation had to be made. We have listed below a summary of the changes and benefits, as provided for in the NMC’s Annual FtPC Report:
|Summary of changes||Benefits|
In relation to the first point above (i.e. the new powers of Case Examiners), of the 2,112 investigations related to nurses which concluded in the year 2017-2018, Case Examiners referred 37% to a hearing, closed 57% with no further action, and closed a further 6% using their new powers to agree undertakings and to issue warnings and advice. It is noteworthy that the new powers of Case Examiners were introduced in August 2017. It will therefore be interesting to see how much these powers are utilised by the NMC during 2018/2019 and whether this will lead to a further savings by NMC in relation to hearings.
Regulators in this jurisdiction will be watching this area with interest. It appears that by equipping case officers with a suite of powers which incorporate some degree of discretion, the net consequence is improved capacity to deal with complaints.
See full text of the NMC Fitness to Practise Annual Report (2017 – 2018).
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