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NMC response to Secretary of State’s statement to the House of Commons

16 July 2015

Responding to today’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, that supervision would no longer be part of our legislation, and the need for greater openness and transparency in the NHS, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said: 

“We fully welcome this announcement. In the interests of public protection and patient safety, the regulator must be in control of regulation carried out in its name. This is what the public would expect from modern healthcare regulation. 

“We have been pressing for this change following recommendations that the NMC should have direct control of regulatory decisions about nurses and midwives. As seen through the tragic events at Morecambe Bay, the current set up is open to conflicts of interest which is not in the best interests of public protection. 

“There is no doubt that access to good clinical supervision is essential for all healthcare professionals. However, it is for employers, not regulators, to take responsibility for this important function. We will continue to work with the Department of Health to support the successful transition of midwifery supervision. 

“We were pleased to see a clear focus today on the importance of openness and transparency within the NHS. We welcome the opportunity to work with Sir Bruce Keogh and the other regulators to embed these principles into the culture of what it means to be a healthcare professional.

“Our recent work with the GMC on joint guidance demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that professionals know what is expected of them when things go wrong. We remain committed to doing even more in this important area.”  



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.   For media enquiries, please contact the media team at or on 020 7681 5649/5936.