NMC commissions 'independent review' of its conduct over Morecambe Bay

The review will look at how the regulator handled evidence which was submitted by bereaved parents. 

The NMC has commissioned a review of how it handled evidence in the Morecambe Bay FtP cases.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has commissioned an independent external review of how it handled evidence in the Morecambe Bay fitness to practise cases.

Verita an independent consulting agency, will undertake the external independent review and will specifically look at how the regulator handled a specific piece of evidence which was submitted by bereaved parents.

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You can see the full scope of the review on the NMC website.

 recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission rated the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust as good with some areas, including aspects of the once heavily-criticised maternity unit, found to be outstanding.

Lessons Learned.

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care published its Lessons Learned Review earlier this year which heavily criticised how the Nursing and Midwifery Council handled concerns about midwives’ fitness to practise at the Furness General Hospital.

The report was initially commissioned by Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, after up to 19 babies and mothers died at the hospital between 2004 and 2012 as a result of mistakes by the staff of its maternity unit. A previous inquiry into the deaths concluded that 13 of the infants and women would have lived if they had received better care.

The 80-page report made a series of recommendations and heavily criticises the actions of the NMC after the regulator failed to take any action for two years after information was supplied by the police on maternity staff.

'We have made improvements'.

Responding to the review, Jackie Smith, the NMC Chief Executive and Registrar at the time said: “The NMC’s approach to the Morecambe Bay cases – in particular the way we communicated with the families – was unacceptable and I am truly sorry for this.

"We take the findings of this review extremely seriously and we’re committed to improving the way we communicate with families, witnesses and all those involved in the fitness to practise process.

“Since 2014 we’ve made significant changes to improve the way we work and as the report recognises, we’re now a very different organisation.

“The changes we’ve made puts vulnerable witnesses and families affected by failings in care at the heart of our work. But we know that there is much more to do."

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