MPs are warning that the Nursing and Midwifery Council is still not doing enough to protect patients properly.
The Health Select Committee says there is a huge backlog of cases which is hampering the NMC’s ability to safeguard standards.
The Health Select Committee is a cross-party group of MPs, and they highlighted the NMC’s poor record of having decisions overturned on appeal.
But, the NMC say they are working hard to put things right.
The regulator is in charge of registering and regulating 670,000 nurses and midwives across the UK, and has been dogged with issues for some time.
Last year, the independent report by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence said that the NMC was failing at ‘every level’.
This newest report recognises that the NMC has made progress by the new management team, but there is still a significant gap between the current performance and acceptable standards.
There is a backlog of cases dating back more than two years and involves 570 cases.
The report says this needs to be cleared by June.
It also expressed disappointment that the rollout of validation, which is regular checks on nurses, is being postponed until 2015, when it has already started for doctors.
The MPs said that the two major problems facing the NMC are IT and staff turnover, and more needs to be done to tackle these.
They also say that the NMC needs to be more ambitious in its plans to deal with cases. The NMC are proposing an average of 18 months, and MPs say it should take half this amount of time.
Patrick Oliver, specialist medical negligence solicitor at Swain & Co, says, “The NMC’s role is protecting patients. To do this they need to register nurses and midwives and enforce acceptable standards of practice.”
“In recent years, the NMC has seriously failed in this vital role.”
The NMC say they welcome the report which recognises the progress made so far and the challenges that lay ahead.
If you have been let down by the healthcare profession, be it doctors, nurses or midwives negligence, then you could benefit from a free initial meeting with Graeme Swain, Patrick Oliver or Melanie Lidstone Land.
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