The results from the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) consultation on its proposed changes to fitness to practise (FtP) processes have received support from nurses and organisations.
The consultation, Modernising Fitness to Practise, ran from October to December 2016.
The NMC says that the changes, which will now be implemented from July, will allow it to resolve some cases in a quicker and more proportionate way.
The proposed changes to the FtP process would allow case examiners to give advice, issue warnings, and recommend undertakings, in addition to their existing powers to decide cases.
It would also ensure that decisions made by case examiners using these new powers could be subject to review in certain scenarios, as is already the case with ‘no case to answer’ decisions.
The consultation received 132 responses, with the vast majority in favour of the proposed changes. It found that roughly 75% of organisations and individuals agreed with the new approach.
Earlier this month, the Government approved changes to the NMC’s legislation, meaning the fitness to practise changes can now take place and will be implemented in July 2017.
‘Long awaited changes’
Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar said: ‘These long awaited changes will help to ensure public confidence in the nursing and midwifery professions, enabling us to resolve some less contentious matters more simply and quickly, taking only the most serious cases to a full hearing.
‘I welcome the support for these proposals from our stakeholders who clearly recognise the real benefits these changes will bring for the NMC and the nurses and midwives on our register.
‘We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to ensure that these much needed changes are successfully implemented.’