Ministers could shake-up of healthcare regulation and see bodies such as the NMC, GMC & HCPC merged.
In a controversial consultation nine regulatory bodies could merge into one new amalgamated watchdog covering around a million health professionals including Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Paramedics.
Currently, the General Medical Council (GMC) regulates 281,000 Doctors and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) performs the same role for about 600,000 Nurses and Midwives. The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and Healthcare & Care Professions Council (HCPC) will also be included in the arrangement.
Ministers claim the move is to make it simpler for complaints about poor care to be made.
Sources at the Department of Health say Jeremy Hunt wants to improve public protection against the possibility of being harmed by poor professional practice and poor performance.
Presently the nine bodies cost about £288m to run but are funded by members from fees so involve no cost to the public purse.
Donna Kinnair, director of nursing at the Royal College of Nursing asks; “Is this the right time to be planning a major overhaul of professional regulation, given the myriad problems facing health and social care?”
NMC says Nurses must accept concerns about their practice
Legislative changes designed to speed up fitness-to-practice (FtP) cases will only work if Nurses accept concerns about their practice.
Controversial changes including a new measure that will allow the Nursing and Midwifery Council to issue ‘public warnings’ against registrants who have breached professional standards came into force this week, be able to offer informal advise to Nurses for less severe cases and agree restrictions on practice with registrants directly.
The reforms will enable case examiners to resolve issues earlier on in the FtP process and will mean the NMC will only have to take the most serious cases to a full hearing but the NMC boss says this can only happen in Nurses accept concerns about their practice earlier in the process.
This years financial report shows noted a significantly higher spending on fitness to practices cases and part of the new process is to minimise this spending.
Several concerns have been raised that the new system may result in over-use of warnings and the fact they may disadvantage staff when applying for employment.
NMC Chief gets £20,000 pay rise to bring pay into “alignment”
Jackie Smith, the chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council received a £20,000 pay rise this year.
The Nursing and Midwifery Councils financial reports reveal that its CEO and Registrar, Jackie Smith, received a pay rise of around £20,000 bringing her total basic salary to £192,850 for 2016-2017.
However, Ms Smith final remuneration is expected to be significantly more due to pension benefits and annual leave reimbursements.
In a report from the NMC, the regulator said the pay increase for its chief executive followed a review of its senior salary structure.
The report, which is created by the NMC’s remuneration committee, compares the pay of its own executives with those in similar roles.
In total, the NMC’s executive team was paid £1.2m in 2016-2017.
The report went on to state that the NMC has maintained financial stability and noted a significantly higher spending on fitness to practices cases.
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