Legal change will protect nursing and midwifery students who raise concerns

A change to legislation will protect student nurses and midwives from retaliation or victimisation when they raise concerns.

The NMC welcomes a change to legislation which will protect student nurses and midwives from retaliation or victimisation when they raise concerns.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act enables nurses and midwives to make ‘protected disclosures’ to the NMC and other organisations. From 6 April 2015, student nurses and midwives who are in practice settings as part of their education programmes will be given the same level of protection.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“Nursing and midwifery students are just as likely as registered nurses and midwives to witness poor practice and raise concerns in the interests of patients. This is good for public protection.
“We are very pleased that students, nurses and midwives now have the same level of protection when they raise concerns. We have been working closely with the Department of Health to make this change which will help to protect the public.”

The NMC Code, which came into effect on 31 March 2015, is clear about nurses’ and midwives’ responsibility to raise concerns they have about patient safety and act on concerns raised to them. They must not obstruct, intimidate or victimise those who wish to raise concerns.


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