This site is intended for health professionals only

NMC: Fitness to practice investigation times slashed

The average time taken to complete a fitness to practice (FtP) investigation has been halved, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced. 

The average time taken for a FtP case to be investigated has fallen from 19.7 months in 2011 to nine months in April 2014. 

At the end of last year the NMC had around 2,000 hearings yet to process, compared to approximately 300 for the General Medical Council. 

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said she is "delighted" that the NMC is becoming a "more efficient and effective" regulator. 

She said: "This reduction demonstrates the effectiveness of our ongoing improvement programme and our continued effort to make progress within our restrictive legal framework.” 

A consultation into changes to FtP and registration rules finished last week. 

The NMC had proposed: 

 - Introducing Case Examiners into the FtP process.

 - The ability to review “no case to answer” decisions.

 - Changes to the composition of a registration appeal panel.

 - The ability to request and verify registration information.