Personal experience statements could ‘tread new ground’ for NMC

13 February 2020

The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) is exploring the use of personal experience statements as part of its mission of bringing people to the heart of its work.

In a move that could “tread new ground” for a professional health and care regulator, the piece of work supports the NMC’s approach to fitness to practise focusing on nurturing a just culture in health and social care that gives the public equal voice and where everyone involved is treated with kindness and understanding.

To help strengthen that approach further, last year saw the NMC commission independent research agency, Traverse, to consider how the use of personal experience statements could be heard and valued in its fitness to practise proceedings.

Published today, the research, titled ‘The voice of people who use services, families and members of the public in fitness to practise proceedings’, emphasises a number of regulatory benefits that the use of personal experience statements could bring.

These include achieving best evidence, improved decision making, early resolution of a case, clarity to the individual concerned and increased openness and transparency.

Feedback from stakeholders who took part in the research highlighted a range of different views. The NMC will now consider the findings and recommendations further - in collaboration with nursing and midwifery professionals, people who use health and care services and key partner organisations across all four countries - to ensure any further steps are taken forward in a joined up and fair way for the benefit of everyone involved.

Director of Fitness to Practise (FtP), Matthew McClelland, said:

“At the heart of this work is making sure our approach to fitness to practise is inclusive and takes into account the voice of everyone involved when something has gone wrong in a health and social care setting.

“In the same way that we already encourage nursing and midwifery professionals involved in our proceedings to be open with us about what happened, understanding this experience from the perspective of an individual person who has also been affected could be incredibly valuable when assessing what else we may need to do to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people using and working in health and care services.

“While the development of this work is still in its early stages, it could really allow us to tread new ground as a regulator and we look forward to taking the findings and recommendations of the research forward as part of future engagement with our stakeholders over the coming months.”

The regulator is also in the process of piloting another new initiative to give the public end-to-end support from the moment they raise a concern until the point the case ends.

This will allow members of the public who raise concerns which don’t warrant further investigation to feel supported from the outset.

Read more about today’s published research here.

For further media enquiries, please contact the NMC press office on 0207 621 5221 or email