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Government to review if NMC needs ‘greater freedom’

The consultation will examine if healthcare regulators require “greater freedom”.

Image: © davidsonlentz

The Department of Health has launched a consultation on if professional regulatory bodies should have greater freedom.

The consultation will run until 23 January 2018 and will cover topics such look at if professional regulatory bodies, like the Nursing and Midwifery Council, need greater freedom oversee fitness to practise cases, educational frameworks and other professional standards.

Supporting documentation for the consultation explains that the regulation of healthcare professionals “needs to be faster, simpler, better and less costly” and reveals that the NMC spent around £58m on fitness to practise cases in 2015/2016– a massive 76% of its total spending.

The NMC has said it welcomes the government’s new consultation on proposals to reform health professional regulation.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar,  said:

“I’ve made no secret of the urgent need for regulatory reform. Our current legislation is woefully outdated; it is a barrier to us becoming the modern and dynamic regulator we want to be.

“At the moment, we are entirely reliant on the government for adapting our legislation in response to changing external circumstances – a process that can often take years to achieve,” she said.

“We need a much more flexible approach to regulation, enabling us to meet the demands and expectations of a rapidly changing health and care landscape while continuing to ensure openness and transparency,” stated Ms Smith.

“This consultation is a welcome step in the right direction but government must ensure that they press ahead with the changes that are so desperately needed to ensure that we have legislation which will enable us to properly protect the public in the years to come.”

You can take part in the consultation on the Department of Health website.