Nursing & Midwifery Council report: statement from AvMA

Published: 16 May 2018

The Lessons Learned Review report published today (16th May) by the Professional Standards Authority into the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) handling of cases connected to the Furness General Hospital is a damning indictment of the organisation’s culture. Although the individual cases giving rise to the investigations go back almost ten years, the NMC’s behaviour continued to be reprehensible right up to recent times.

AvMA Chief Executive Peter Walsh said:

“The findings of the report are so damning, it can come as no surprise that the CEO of the NMC resigned this week. What is most shocking is the dismissive and disrespectful attitude towards the families who lost babies at the hospital, the lack of openness and honesty, and the sheer incompetence of the NMC’s approach.

“The NMC should be a role model as well as a robust regulator fit to uphold standards in the profession and, most importantly, to protect patients. It will have a lot of work to do to rebuild confidence in itself.

“I would like to pay tribute to the families whose integrity and tenacity made sure this all came to light.”

AvMA believes that the report holds important lessons for other regulators as well as the NMC. Of particular note is the need to:

  • Properly engage with and respect members of the public who raise concerns
  • Avoid relying too heavily on local or employers’ own investigations
  • Be cautious about ‘consensual disposal’ of cases and to be transparent about the allegations and sanctions which are being accepted
  • For regulators to be exemplars of good practice, integrity, and openness and honesty if they are to enjoy the confidence of the professions and the public