Personal Injury, Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence

Nurses and Midwives to face checks every 3 years under new proposals by the Nursing and Midwifery Council

In March 2012 the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) conducted an audit of its current Prep (Post-Registration ongoing Education and Practice) arrangements and found that these were not fit for purpose in that they did not provide adequate assurance of nurses and midwives’ continuing fitness to practise. Under the current system nurses declare themselves fit to practise. This is known as renewal.

The NMC have therefore considered a possible move towards a system of regular revalidation for its members and have considered various possible models for revalidation.

On 12 September the NMC decided on a model for the revalidation of nurses and midwives in the UK.

Jackie Smith, Chief Executive of the NMC said,

“Ensuring that the skills and conduct of nurses and midwives remain up to date throughout their careers is an important area of regulation. Any effective system of revalidation will increase public confidence that nurses and midwives remain capable of safe and effective practice.

Council’s decision on which model of revalidation the NMC should adopt is an important one which will focus our work for years to come.”

The primary purpose of revalidation is to provide greater assurance that nurses and midwives on the NMC register remain fit to practise and to raise standards within the profession. It must ensure that nurses and midwives are checked to ensure that they continue to meet NMC standards, both in terms of conduct and competence, and that their skills and knowledge are up to date.

Six different possible models for revalidation were considered by the NMC and they have now confirmed that they have agreed on a model for revalidation.

The model

The model which has been chosen by the NMC, requires that all nurses and midwives on their register are revalidated every three years and must have practised for 450 hours during those years. The revalidation process would require nurses and midwives to continually gather evidence for their revalidation confirming that they have met the required hours of practice and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. The model will also require a third party (such as an employer or manager) to confirm that the nurse or midwife has complied with the new code.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council have confirmed that the new revalidation model will be introduced by the end of 2015.

The General Medical Council (GMC) introduced a similar system for doctors, requiring revalidation every 5 years, in July 2012.

It is hoped that undertaking effective and regular revalidation of doctors, nurses and midwives will increase standards across the medical profession.

If you have been dissatisfied with the nursing or midwifery care which you have experienced and would like further information on pursuing a medical negligence claim, please contact one of the members of the clinical negligence team, who would be happy to assist you.