Message from Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar
Following failures in care at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Sir Robert Francis QC was selected to chair an independent public inquiry into those failings. The report from that enquiry (‘the Francis Report’) on 6 February 2013 made a number of wide ranging recommendations for change which affected a number of organisations including the NMC.
What happened at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was shocking. Robert Francis’ thorough report outlines failures by individuals, tiers of management and regulators. Those who raised concerns were not heard.
The system failed and it was a preventable tragedy.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is committed to applying the lessons learnt from the Francis report. The Francis report made 290 recommendations and new proposals have been made by others. Much of the work to be done by the NMC had already started before the report’s publication, and is very much in line with our existing plans for improvement. We have now started making the further changes needed to deliver a high standard of regulation to protect the public.
Our response to the Francis report
We published both an initial response to the Francis report and a formal response to the report on 18 July 2013 and in April 2014, we published our six months update on our response to the Francis report
We have embarked on an organisation-wide programme of work to respond to Robert Francis’ specific recommendations. This includes, but is not limited to:
Duty of candour
We completed joint work with other regulators on a consistent approach to a duty of candour for healthcare professionals. Joint guidance with the General Medical Council (GMC) has now been published.
A revised Code
We undertook a two-part consultation across a range of stakeholders and used their feedback to shape a revised Code.
Closer working with other regulators
We are refreshing MoUs (memoranda of understanding) with a number of regulators and implementing new MoUs to enhance patient safety.
The first nurses and midwives to revalidate are expected to be those with a renewal date in April 2016.
A new service to provide better information about our role and work directly to employers will start in January 2016.
We have published new standards for pre-registration nursing education, which all education programmes are now approved against.
Legislative change in our fitness to practise processes
Significant changes to our Orders in October 2014 and spring 2015 have enabled us to introduce case examiners, clarify our ability to strike off, change the composition of registration appeals panels and more.