The regulator has been striving to become a more person-centered organisation.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) should be “replaced” due to fitness to practice failings, an MP has said.
The comment comes after Helen Lockett, the former Director of Operations and Executive Nurse at the now-defunct Liverpool Community Health, was handed a 12-month suspension.
Ms. Lockett was found guilty by a Fitness to Practice Panel of 34 charges including bullying and trying to defer concerns raised about patient safety.
Following the investigation, the panel justified the decision by saying Ms. Lockett had an otherwise unblemished 30-year nursing career and “it was not in the public interest to permanently remove such an experienced and respected nurse from the practice.”
A ‘three-year reign of terror’.
Rosie Cooper, the Labour MP West Lancashire, has criticised the regulators’ decision, saying; “I think striking off would have been the only safe decision”.
She added that the former director of nursing engaged in a “three-year reign of terror which ended with Helen Lockett receiving a £25,000 payoff”.
“This decision has the brought the NMC’s reputation into complete disrepute.”
She is now calling upon for the NMC to be “replaced with a body which can instil confidence into the profession for both nurses and the public”.
Ms. Cooper has said she will report her concerns to the Professional Standards Authority – the regulators, regulator.
A clearly defined process?
Cathryn Watters, Founder of NMCWatch, a group that supports nurses through FtP proceedings, commented; “it must be recognised that the registrants that have come before her have suffered enormously, many have been sanctioned on less evidence and some have been struck off”.
Questioning the FtP process she adds; “how can we be assured that one panel will assess a case the same as the next panel? Is it a clearly defined process, with clear assessment tools and criteria that ensures parity of outcomes?”.
Ms. Watters explains that the regulator must start to listen to the concerns of registrants, the organisation is now petitioning the government to undertake an independent review of the regulator.
The NMC said it would review the decision of the independent panel.