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Legal change will protect nursing and midwifery students who raise concerns

6 April 2015

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 has enabled nurses and midwives to make ‘protected disclosures’ to the NMC and other organisations since 1999. 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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Notes for editors

1.   The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public. We do this by ensuring that only those who meet our requirements are allowed to practise as a nurse or midwife in the UK. We take action if concerns are raised about whether a nurse or midwife is fit to practise.

2.   The statutory instrument is the Protected Disclosures (Extension of Meaning of Worker) Order 2015.

3.   For media enquiries, please contact the Media Team at media@nmc-uk.org or on 020 7681 5649/5936.