PSA’s performance review of the NMC for 2021-2022

Published on 26 September 2022

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has today published its review of our performance in 2021-2022

This year, we’ve met 17 out of the PSA’s 18 standards of good regulation. The PSA’s report highlights several areas of our work where we’ve performed well, including:

  • our equality, diversity, and inclusion work, including our Ambitious for Change research and our new EDI plan for 2022-2025
  • positive feedback from stakeholders about our engagement with them, including through our new Public Voice Forum
  • recognition of the work we’re doing to modernise our pre-registration education programme standards
  • steps taken to improve the transparency of our registration appeals process.

The standard we’ve not met relates to the timeliness of our fitness to practise cases.  We started to address the rising caseload in 2020, but our plans were dramatically affected by the impact of the pandemic.  During 2020-2021, we focused on supporting our professionals and the health and social care sector in their response to the emergency situation. This meant we paused some of our work and carrying out our procedures also took longer due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In 2021-2022, we initiated a range of improvements to help us reduce the backlog quickly and safely. These changes helped to stabilise our caseload, but it is taking longer than we planned to bring it down.

Responding to the publication of the PSA review, Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, our Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“While I’m pleased we’ve met 17 of the 18 standards of good regulation thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, I’m disappointed we haven’t been able to bring our fitness to practise caseload down as quickly as we planned. We know being involved in our fitness to practise processes can be distressing for people, and we’re sorry to everyone who’s been waiting for a decision.

“We also recognise the impact this can have on people from different backgrounds, because our Ambitious for Change research showed that people with certain diversity characteristics are disproportionately referred to us. We’ve established a dedicated task group to address these inequalities and contribute to our overall efforts to reduce our caseload in a fair, safe and proportional way.

“Reducing our caseload and improving our timeliness in handling cases remain our top priorities. We’re dedicating more resources to this, recruiting new colleagues and reviewing our procedures.  We’re concentrating particularly on screening, which is the first stage of the process.

“We’ll also keep working hard to deliver on the other 21 goals set out in our corporate plan. We remain fully focused on regulating well, supporting our professions and the public, and using our regulatory insight to influence the wider sector so safe, kind, effective nursing and midwifery care can be sustained for everyone.”

Read the PSA performance review 

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