NMC welcomes lessons learned review into handling of Morecambe Bay cases

16 May 2018

The NMC has today welcomed the publication of the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) review into its handling of the Morecambe Bay fitness to practise cases.

Responding to the review, Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar said:

“The NMC’s approach to the Morecambe Bay cases – in particular the way we communicated with the families – was unacceptable and I am truly sorry for this.

"We take the findings of this review extremely seriously and we’re committed to improving the way we communicate with families, witnesses and all those involved in the fitness to practise process.

“Since 2014 we’ve made significant changes to improve the way we work and as the report recognises, we’re now a very different organisation.

“The changes we’ve made puts vulnerable witnesses and families affected by failings in care at the heart of our work. But we know that there is much more to do."

Responding to the review, Philip Graf, Chair of the NMC said:

“We welcome this review and we will act on the lessons learned, ensuring that the views of families and patients are central to everything we do.

“We will also work closely with the PSA, the professions and other regulators to take forward the report’s important recommendations.”

Since 2014 the NMC has:

  • Introduced a new public support service to support vulnerable witnesses and families through the fitness to practise process.
  • Introduced a new employer link service to work more closely with employers to identify issues at an earlier stage.
  • Significantly improved its record keeping.
  • Consulted on proposals for a total overhaul of its approach to fitness to practise which will encourage nurses and midwives to speak up at the earliest opportunity when things go wrong and see the fitness to practise process as an opportunity to learn and reflect.
  • Achieved its best ever performance review from the PSA achieving 23 out of 24 standards of good regulation up from 15 out of 24 in 2013/14.

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Notes for editors

  1. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5649 or email media@nmc-uk.org.
  2. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent professional regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK. We exist to protect the public. We do this by maintaining the register of qualified nurses and midwives and setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance. We make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date through a regular revalidation process. If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered nurse or midwife, we have a duty to investigate and, where necessary, take action to protect the public.