Patients, the public, nurses and midwives have all been asked for their input on an updated Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code.
One of the key functions of the NMC is to set out standards of conduct, performance and ethics through the NMC code.
The revision of the code has been informed by the recommendations of recent major healthcare reviews including the Francis Report.
It will also include information on revalidation, a process which will require all nurses and midwives to regularly confirm to the NMC that they are fit to practice when it is introduced at the end of 2015.
Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, said: “The NMC code is the standard by which all nurses and midwives should be measured. I am pleased that the NMC is seeking a wide range of views for the revised code, importantly including the patients and public we are here to serve. This is an important opportunity to help develop compassionate, high quality nursing care for now and the future.”
Ros Moore, CNO for Scotland, said: “The NMC code unites nurses and midwives wherever they work and whatever their role. It provides the compass that helps them stay on the right path in their day to day journey through healthcare.
"It is important therefore that the NMC in the second phase of its consultation works with the professions in Scotland and the rest of the UK to ensure the code and the interest of those we serve remain at the heart of the professions.”
Professor Jean White, CNO for Wales said: “As the professional roles of nurses and midwives continue to evolve and expand to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the population and the demands of health services, it is essential that the code is refreshed to remain relevant to modern practices and public expectations of professionals.
"I encourage everyone to support and engage with this important consultation.”
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: “The NMC’s code of Conduct has been around for a long time and the standards and behaviours that it sets are taken extremely seriously by all nursing staff.
“Modern nursing is a complex and demanding profession and so it is only right for the code of Conduct to be revised in line with all the changes and developments that have taken place.
“Consulting a wide range of people from patients to the nurses and midwives themselves will help the NMC to develop a code of Conduct in line with the reality of modern nursing and the RCN looks forward to participating in the process.”
Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive said: “This is a chance to tell us what is important to you, and explain exactly what you expect from the people who care for you.”
The consultation is available on the NMC website.
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