NMC exceeds fitness to practise adjudication target

Published on 12 January 2015

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has exceeded its key target of getting cases to a hearing within six months of being referred from the investigating committee.

Meeting the 90 percent target by the end of 2014 was a condition of the £20 million grant from the Department of Health, which the NMC accepted in 2012.
Since July 2012 more than 4,000 cases have been dealt with at hearings by our fitness to practise panels, considerably more than all the other healthcare regulators combined. A relentless focus, hard work and commitment from all staff across the organisation has enabled us to achieve this.
Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC, Jackie Smith, said:

"We are delighted to have not only met the target, but exceeded it. We were determined to meet the terms of the Department of Health grant, and, crucially, to increase public and professional confidence in us as an effective regulator. Achieving a six month target in 93 percent of cases is evidence that we have time and cost efficient public protection measures in place. 
"This good news is part of a larger picture of efficiencies being undertaken in our fitness to practise directorate, and demonstrates to the public and those we regulate our commitment to improved public protection."

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said:

"This is encouraging news and shows the NMC is making progress in becoming a more effective regulator. Dealing with fitness to practise cases in a timely way is essential to ensure patients receive safe care and that we have a professional regulation system that is fit for the future."

Ongoing improvements to the NMC’s fitness to practise process will be advanced by the introduction of case examiners in March 2015. Case Examiners will consider allegations of impairment of fitness to practise and decide whether there is a case to answer. Their introduction will strengthen our processes and further reduce the time it takes to conclude cases.

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