The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) fitness to practise processes and support for registrants have been criticised by campaign group NMC Watch.
According to NMC Watch, nurses, midwives and nursing associates have been made to feel guilty before they have had an opportunity to appear before a panel through the way the NMC treats them.
The campaign group has highlighted disparities in the treatment of registrants facing charges by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and those appearing to testify against them.
For example, they highlighted the fact that it is “relatively easy for witnesses for the NMC to claim expenses including hotel, childcare and travel costs, the group says registrants must go through a convoluted process to prove they are in hardship.”
NMC Watch also stated that there are clear differences in the facilities available at hearings, with registrants accommodated in less comfortable rooms with a limited choice of refreshments.
This, NMC Watch says highlighted the differences of the “ongoing cultural issues at the nursing regulator which meant nurses and midwives facing charges were made to feel guilty before their case had even been heard.”
In response, the NMC’s Director of Fitness to Practise said that the regulator has already put in place free support for registrants but the NMC will “continue to look at what further improvements can be made for the benefit of everyone involved.”
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