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NMC “has not addressed” some previous audit concerns

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has not successfully addressed previous concerns about their performance, and there are current issues with their record keeping, evidence handling and evaluation, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) said today.

The PSA carried out the annual audit, which looked at 100 NMC cases that were closed in the initial stages of the fitness to practice investigations, in order to assess the performance of the NMC.

The Authority said they were “disappointed” they could not see much improvement since the 2013 audit, and that in some areas the NMC's performance had declined since 2013.

It read: “Our overall conclusion is that while there is evidence of some improvements in the NMC's approach to its handling of voluntary removal cases, the NMC has not successfully addressed all of the concerns we identified in our 2013 audit report.”

In terms of timeliness it said that “the need to re-risk assess cases, suggest that NMC staff do not always identify emerging risks and take appropriate action promptly”. While “in general… we were satisfied that the NMC was imposing interim orders without unnecessary delay” the PSA noted that “delays in applying for and imposing interim orders in five cases… had the potential to expose the public to unnecessary risks.”

The audit also identified areas where the NMC's performance had declined compared to the 2013 audit. There was a drop in performance in gathering information a total of 40 cases, as well as failures to gather relevant information and investigate relevant issues in 36 cases.

However, the audit found examples of good case handling and good customer care by caseworkers in several cases, the report said.

There were also “some areas” where the NMC had sustained a good performance, for example the screening team's customer care, record keeping and documentation of risk assessments.