A former executive chief nurse has been appointed as the chair of an independent steering group leading work on a review of advanced nursing and midwifery practice.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has confirmed Kay Fawcett – a nurse of more than 45 years – will be chairing the group, which has been tasked by the nursing regulator to explore the possibility of introducing regulation for advanced nurse practice.
The move comes as part of a commitment within the NMC’s 2020-2025 strategy to carry out a ‘comprehensive review’ of advanced practice.
Work began in October 2022, and research commissioned by the nursing regulator has found appetite from stakeholders for some form of ‘specific regulation’ for advanced practice in nursing and midwifery.
In an update today, the nursing regulator said it was currently considering ‘further key lines of enquiry’ for its ongoing review of the ‘advanced practice landscape’, adding that members of the public would be engaged throughout the process.
Those behind the review project are set to present to the NMC’s governing council with options to consider around advanced practice next month.
As chair, Ms Fawcett, who was previously executive chief nurse at both Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, will lead the steering group in reviewing and discussing draft proposals around advanced practice and will advise the NMC’s executive board.
The steering group will also consist of ‘key partners’ in health and social care across the UK, according to the nursing regulator.
Ms Fawcett has a wealth of experience through previous and current clinical, managerial and educational roles, noted the NMC.
This includes her work as an independent nurse adviser for Health Education England (HEE), associate and mentor to professionals on the Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholarship programme, and non-executive director at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, it added.
Speaking on her appointment, Ms Fawcett said she was ‘delighted’ to be taking on the role.
While recognising the increasing complexities of health and social care, she said she was ‘confident we will make the right recommendations that support the future of nursing and midwifery practice’.
‘I look forward to collaborating with the NMC and its partners, including hearing the voice of the public, to ensure that any proposed changes are in the best interests of people receiving care from advanced nursing and midwifery practitioners,’ she added.
Meanwhile, Sam Foster, NMC executive director of professional practice, added that Ms Fawcett’s experience ‘will prove invaluable during our comprehensive review of advanced practice’.
‘As we consider the range of options to available to us, any changes we make must benefit the public and people receiving care from advanced practitioners,’ she said.
‘It’s crucial that we work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders from across the UK, and throughout health and social care.
‘This will ensure any proposals we put to our council lead to better care for everyone, everywhere. Under Kay’s leadership I’m confident this steering group will be well placed to advise us.’