NMC welcomes latest milestone on journey to regulatory reform

Published on 11 December 2023

The NMC welcomes the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) response to its consultation Regulating anaesthesia associates and physician associates, and the draft legislation that will bring these professionals into regulation. This will shortly be laid before the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

If approved, the Order will give the General Medical Council (GMC) the necessary statutory powers to regulate the AA and PA professions in the UK. Crucially, the Order also acts as a template for the future regulation of all health and care professionals, with the NMC’s governing legislation set to be reviewed next.

As the independent regulator of nurses, midwives and nursing associates, we believe regulatory reform will enable us to:

  • have a register of professionals that is clearer and easier for people to understand
  • strengthen our quality assurance of nursing and midwifery education
  • more easily stop people calling themselves a nurse when they're not
  • act more rapidly to protect the public if someone cannot meet our required standards of proficiency and conduct
  • adapt the way we regulate in the future to support the workforce across the four UK nations and support innovation in nursing and midwifery practice.

Matthew McClelland, Executive Director of Strategy and Insight at the NMC, said:

“The 808,000 nursing and midwifery professionals on our register are the cornerstone of health and care services in the UK, providing safe, kind, and effective care to millions of citizens every day. We urgently need changes to our legislation to enable better, safer regulation and to make sure we can play an effective part in supporting the nursing and midwifery professions into the future.

“The General Medical Council’s proposed new legislation is a welcome first step in the Government’s plans to reform all regulators. We are delighted the Department of Health and Social Care intends to reform our legislation next and we will continue to work with them to deliver changes that will benefit the professionals on our register and the citizens we serve.”

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