The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has called for a first parliamentary session commitment from all political parties after a draft bill to make changes to the regulator's function was not included in the Queen’s Speech.
The “revolutionary” draft bill published by the Law Commission earlier this year would have enabled the NMC to make fundamental and much needed changes to its current system of delivering public protection.
Jackie Smith NMC Chief Executive and Registrar said: “Neither the NMC nor the public can afford to wait until “parliamentary time allows” to see this Bill become law. The government’s failure to commit to the Bill severely damages our efforts to further improve patient safety, by modernising the regulation of healthcare professionals.
“I urge all of the political parties to make a public commitment today, to including this Bill in their plans for the first session of the next parliament. The public and the professions deserve to see the commitment honoured.
“Until these commitments are made we continue to be stuck with a framework that David Cameron described as "outdated and inflexible”. Last week’s missed opportunity is a serious blow to our reform programme. Although we continue to make efficiencies, last week’s decision means that there is no prospect of us meeting our long-term goal of concluding fitness to practise cases within 12 months."