NMC respond to publication of GMC commissioned report: Fair to Refer?

25 June 2019

Responding to the report, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), said:

“Today’s important report provides hugely valuable insight, not just for the regulation of doctors but for employers and regulation more widely. 

“We know from our own earlier research that nurses and midwives from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are also more likely to be referred to us than their white counterparts by their employers. We used this research to underpin our new approach to fitness to practise, which aims to foster a just culture in health and social care for the benefit of everyone working in or using health and social care services.

“Our new approach includes supporting employers to deal with issues quickly and effectively, taking better account of the context in which mistakes happen, and enabling nurses, midwives, and nursing associates to improve their practice where necessary.

“We will continue to work closely with employers and our partners across the health and care sector to make sure we continue to address this hugely important issue. We will also be carrying out further research of our own later this year to ensure we have the best understanding possible of the impact of our work on different groups of people so we can tackle any discrimination we find.”


Notes for editors

  1. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5415 or email media@nmc-uk.org. ​
  2. Follow the NMC on Twitter @nmcnews
  3. We are the independent regulator for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. We hold a register of all the 690,000 nurses, midwives and nursing associates who can practise in the UK. Better and safer care for people is at the heart of what we do, supporting the healthcare professionals on our register to deliver the highest standards of care. We make sure nurses, midwives and nursing associate have the skills they need to care for people safely, with integrity, expertise, respect and compassion, from the moment they step into their first job.
  4. Learning does not stop the day nurses, midwives and nursing associates qualify. To promote safety and public trust, we require professionals to demonstrate throughout their career that they are committed to learning and developing to keep their skills up to date and improve as practitioners. We want to encourage openness and learning among healthcare professions to improve care and keep the public safe. On the occasions when something goes wrong and people are at risk, we can step in to investigate and take action, giving the people affected and their families a voice as we do so.