Department of Health launches consultation on changes to NMC legislation

Published on 21 April 2016

NMC welcomes Department of Health consultation on legislation changes

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) today welcomed the launch of the Department of Health’s consultation on a number of long awaited changes to the regulator’s legal framework.

The changes are designed to modernise midwifery regulation by removing supervision from our legislation. They will also allow us to improve how we deal with those who fall below the required standards expected of nurses and midwives. We have been pressing for significant changes to the legislation for several years, as its existing framework is out of date and costly.

"We are delighted that the Government has opened its consultation around changes to our legislation and would encourage anyone interested to respond to it," NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said.

Health Minister Ben Gummer said the consultation will also further improve the way the NMC deals with patient safety concerns by making fitness to practise processes more efficient.

"I want the NHS to be the safest healthcare service in the world and this means making the midwifery and nursing professions as safe as they can be," said Gummer. "We have learnt from the tragic failings at Morecambe Bay and through this consultation, we will be modernising midwifery supervision which means that when things go wrong, lessons can be learnt at a local level."

In addition to removing midwifery supervision, there are also a total of seven proposed changes relating to our fitness to practise function being sought. If agreed, the new powers will allow us to conclude some cases against nurses and midwives at an earlier stage, while still taking the most serious cases through to a hearing.

"We have been pushing consistently for a more modern legal framework," said NMC Chief Executive Jackie Smith, adding, "As an organisation which is there to protect the public, we know it will make the NMC more efficient and cost effective."


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