‘We can be kind and regulate well’, insists new NMC Chief

“Our new Fitness to Practise approach is designed to be more mindful of the impact of our processes on registrants”

Ian Snug
20 February 2019
Andrea Sutcliffe NMC

Everyone involved with Fitness to Practice cases should be shown dignity, respect and given a voice.

The new Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council has said the regulator needs to be more empathetic – showing everyone involved in fitness to practice cases dignity and respect while ensuring they are given a voice.

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Since being appointed last month, Andrea Sutcliffe CBE has promised major reforms to the regulator and claims she is listening to the concerns of the “nurses, midwives and nursing associates who deliver fantastic care day in, day out”.

In her blog, Ms Sutcliffe reflects upon the impact fitness to practices cases can have on both the patients and registrants involved.

She said, following the Westminster Health Forum Professional Regulation event; “Regulators, doctors, lawyers and academics were speaking about professional regulation and possible reform. There were heartfelt pleas, particularly from Dr Jenny Vaughan and Dr Matthew Tuck, for registrants involved in Fitness to Practise procedures to be treated fairly and with compassion. This is something we agree with at the NMC.

“Our new Fitness to Practise approach is designed to be more mindful of the impact of our processes on registrants. We have more to do to ensure our intentions are made real but the commitment to improve is there.”

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Adding; “It’s important for professionals affected by regulation to have a voice and for that voice to be listened to. It’s equally important for the public and people affected by poor care to have a voice too and for that voice to carry weight.

“If we don’t recognise both perspectives then it may feel that treating people fairly and with compassion is an either/or debate – it’s either the nurse, midwife, doctor or the individual affected. That doesn’t help anyone. When we talk, as I think we should, about the human impact of regulation, then we need to include both the public and professionals affected and consider how we make sure everyone feels they are being treated with dignity and respect”, she said. 

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