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Changes to make NMC rulings 'more consistent'

Government changes to fitness to practice rules will allow “more consistent” rulings, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has claimed.

Welcoming the decision to bring in a system of professional case managers, an NMC statement said the regulatory body expects the process to be “faster and more cost-effective”.

New powers to review decisions and close cases at the investigation stage were also announced today (23 May 2013).

“The Prime Mister is delivering on his promise of reform,” said NMC chief executive Jackie Smith.

She added: “Our first concern is to make the right decisions. Then, we need the power to rview cases where this may not have been the case.

Health minister Dan Poulter said: “We have worked hard with the NMC to explore ow it can strengthen its fitness to practice proceedutres to improve patient safety.

“We are now working with the NMC on proposals to make the process more efficient and flexible - ensuring that if patients do have concerns about a nurse, their case is invesitfated quickly and fairly.”

Other proposed changes to the legal framework are still under consideration.

Dr Peter Carter, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief executive said: “In principle this is a positive move, and we hope it will improve efficiency at the NMC and help it better serve patients and nurses. 

“We now need to see more detail about how these proposals will work in practice and we look forward to working with the NMC and government as part of the consultation process.”