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NMC Public Support Service shortlisted for 2020 HSJ Patient Safety Awards

6 July 2020

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is pleased to announce that its Public Support Service (PSS) has been shortlisted for the Patient Safety Team of the Year Award 2020 at the annual Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards. The PSS has been shortlisted despite tough competition from hundreds of applicants, recognising their important contribution to improving patient safety.

The PSS offers support to people who use services, patients, family members or members of the public who have raised concerns about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate who the NMC has decided to investigate.

This important service was developed as a part of a new person-centred approach to fitness to practise (FtP) in 2018, in partnership with members of the public and partner organisations.

Emma Willis, Head of Specialist Services, explains why she nominated the Public Support Service team for the award:

“The PSS is about ensuring people are at the heart of what we do. It’s been about much more than simply improving how we write a letter or answer a phone call. The team has sought to use each engagement with a member of the public to develop a relationship with them, so that we’re better able to understand their needs and work together to support better, safer care.

“It can be an incredibly daunting and often emotionally challenging experience for members of the public taking part in our fitness to practise process, which is why it was so important for us to establish a service that could build relationships, trust and confidence by listening to their concerns and treating them with compassion and humanity.

“The feedback from those supported by the PSS has been incredible and we hope it will make working with us much more accessible. It’s been a challenge to get to where we are and I am so proud of the entire team and glad to see them recognised in this way.”

One of the first people to access the PSS said of their experience:

“Since being in contact with the support service my opinions of the NMC have been completely reversed. I finally saw compassion, quick responses and I was spoken to as an equal. I believe that the NMC should be very proud of the way that their public support service is developing. It is not a 'nice to have' service - it is absolutely essential. It really did make an enormous difference to me."

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC, said:

“I am very proud of the Public Support Service team and want to congratulate them on being shortlisted for this award. Their hard work and dedication has clearly had a positive impact on the experience of members of the public involved in our fitness to practise process. They have achieved a lot in a short space of time because they care so much about what they do and the people they support.” 

Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place as part of the Patient Safety Virtual Congress and Awards in November 2020.

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Further background

  1. The full list of nominees for the 2020 HSJ Patient Safety Awards can be found at https://awards.patientsafetycongress.co.uk/shortlist

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