A whistleblower claimed the organisation has failed to address “institutional racism” in its ranks for 15 years, warning this has allowed NMC staff “to go unchecked” when “applying guidance inconsistently based on their own discriminatory views”.
They give examples such as a Black nurse being forced to face a fitness-to-practice hearing over her response to a patient who was racially abusive, and NMC staff claiming they’re forced to “act like an English rose” to fit in.
The NMC has said it will appoint external, independent experts to investigations.
More work to do.
NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Andrea Sutcliffe have been clear since she was appointed that racism is unacceptable but admits there is more work to do inside the regulator.
Ms Sutcliffe said in a statement, “I’m so sorry that anyone has personally suffered or observed racism at the NMC. I want the NMC to be an anti-racist organisation and it’s clear we’ve got a long way to go to achieve that.
“I absolutely accept that experiences of some of my colleagues from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds have not been good enough and that when they’ve raised concerns, these have not always been acted on or acted on quickly enough. There’s so much more we must do to embed the safe, inclusive and supportive culture we all want to see. People feel let down by the slow progress we’ve made and I’m determined that we must go further and faster to make our working environment and experiences for colleagues the best they can be.
She concludes, “As a professional regulator in health and social care, it’s our core responsibility to make decisions that keep people safe. We’ve made improvements in our guidance and training for Fitness to Practise colleagues.
“I hope that’s made us more consistent in what we mean by discrimination, bullying, victimisation and harassment, and how seriously allegations like this need to be taken. But I know we don’t get it right every time and we must learn when we make mistakes.