The NMC have launched their new fitness to practise strategy.
They claim this will be a move from a blame culture to a just culture.
Whilst some of the proposals should allow issues to be dealt with a local level much of their strategy relies upon employers to behave fairly and justly in the process of investigation of a nurse. Having defended nurses for over a decade before their regulator, all too often the process of investigation by the employer has been lacking in many respects.
Furthermore, much of the strategy relies on early engagement from nurses before any real evidence has been presented to them
Within the strategy there is much talk about too much NMC resources being spent on hearings however, if the nurse genuinely believes that allegations are unfounded, where else can they be afforded their right to a fair hearing
In their consultation “Ensuring patient safety, enabling professionalism” of the 809 respondents only 20 provided their ethnicity as African/Caribbean and 6 Indian/Asian.
One would have to question why these nurses are not engaging in the process.
What are the NMC proposing?
In essence, the changes hope to encourage an open, learning culture and to support nurses and midwives to address concerns about their practice.
The key principles, address issues such as remediation, local resolution and the importance of understanding the context of a complaint.
After the catastrophic outcomes of inquiries such as Mid Staffs and Gosport, the NMC must look at how the act to keep the public safe.
Is this strategy the answer?