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NMC launches consultation on proposed standards for nursing associates

Under the plans nursing associates would also be subject to the same revalidation requirements as nurses and midwives when renewing their registration with the NMC as well as the same fitness to practise processes should something go wrong.

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by Matt Bodell.
NMC launches consultation on proposed standards for nursing associates
NursingNotes

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced the launch of the consultation the proposed approach to the regulation of nursing associates.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have outlined an approach to education including ambitious standards of proficiency for the role that will enable nursing associates to deliver first-class care.

According to Health Education England (HEE), the Nursing Associate role is a new support role which will sit alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. The role is designed to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants (HCAs) and registered nurses.

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2,000 trainee nursing associates are currently just over half-way through their two-year training programmes to become registered nursing associates and HEE has announced 45,000 extra places before 2027.

The NMC has set out how they expect the existing Code, with a new introduction, to apply to nursing associates as well as nurses and midwives, ensuring that the same high standards of professional behaviour and conduct will apply to everyone on the register.

NMC launches consultation on proposed standards for nursing associatesJackie Smith Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC said: “This is a hugely exciting step on the road to regulation for this new profession and we want to hear the views of all those with an interest in the role.

“We think that our proposals will ensure that nursing associates are equipped with the skills they need to deliver excellent patient care and to support registered nurses and other health and care professionals throughout their careers.”

Under the plans nursing associates would also be subject to the same revalidation requirements as nurses and midwives when renewing their registration with the NMC as well as the same fitness to practise processes should something go wrong.

Over the coming weeks, the NMC will be holding workshops across the country for trainees, registered nurses, employers, patients and the public. There will also be regular twitter chats and webinars with lots of opportunities for people to learn more about what regulation means for the new role and share their views.

The Consultation on the regulation of a new profession will run until 2nd July 2018.

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Nursing & Midwifery Council

MP suggests the NHS should not fund life-extending drugs for the elderly

The MP told radio listeners he isn't sure if the “enormous expense” to keep older people alive is justifiable.

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by Chloe Dawson.
MP suggests the NHS should not fund life-extending drugs for the elderly

The Conservative MP questioned if life-extending drugs for the elderly are justifiable.

David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth and Brexiteer, suggested that the NHS should not provide life-extending drugs for elderly patients who are already nearing the end of their lives.

He told radio listeners he isn't sure if the “enormous expense” to keep older people alive is justifiable after a poll revealed that 82 % of voters should support a 1p ring-fenced rise in National Insurance to ensure the NHS is properly funded.

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In August 2017, Davies suggested victims of crimes should not be provided with interpreters so that the police could save money and in response to the 2015 refugee crisis Davies claimed that majority of the people attempting to enter the UK were not refugees fleeing war, but were instead migrants "mostly young men, mostly with mobile phones, chancing their luck"

Can we justify the expense?

Mr Davies, told talkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer: “There are drugs out there that will keep people alive for a few months longer, maybe being delivered at the end of what might have been a long and productive life at enormous expense.

“And I think we need an honest debate about the cost of some of these drugs because I’d like to see people in their – young people of course getting access to this – but I’m not sure how justifiable it is.

“And this is difficult to say, when somebody is in their 80s, and they’re at the end of what’s been a long and happy life, to try and keep somebody alive for an extra couple of months at a cost that that could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds is something we need to be talking about.”

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Education

NMC launches new educational standards to 'shape the future of nursing'

Part of the changes includes the removal of the cap on the number of hours students can spend on simulation activities.

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by Ian Snug.
NMC launches new educational standards to 'shape the future of nursing'

Student nurses will start to train against the new standards from January 2019.

Last week the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched 'ambitious' new standards of proficiency that set out the skills and knowledge the next generation of nurses need.

Alongside the new proficiencies, the NMC has introduced a more modern and innovative approach to the way universities and their practise partners train nurses and midwives - the NMC claim these changes will allow greater independence of assessment, and greater innovation by placement providers.

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The NMC has also removed its standards for medicines management and instead encourages employers to instigate rigorous medicines management procedures.

Unlimited simulation.

Finally, part of the changes includes the removal of the cap on the number of hours students can spend on simulation activities - despite concerns this could reduce the total amount of time student nurses could spend on placements.

The new standards represent two years’ work and have been developed alongside nurses - as well as students, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and patient groups from across the UK.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “Our new standards represent a huge leap forward. They raise the bar for the next generation of nurses and not only match the demands of the role but the ambition of the profession. This is vital as in the coming years many thousands of new professionals will join our register, delivering care to millions of people.

“We’ve also overhauled the way universities train nurses and midwives. They’ll be given more flexibility to harness new ways of working and embrace technology so they can equip the nurses and midwives of tomorrow with the skills they need to deliver world class care for years to come.”

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News

PSA says the NMC "inadequate" with "cultural problems"

The Professional Standards Authority has criticised how the NMC handled concerns about midwives’ fitness to practise.

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by Sarah J.
Former newspaper exec announced as new chair of NMC

The NMC did not listen to or properly investigate concerns about Midwives at Furness General Hospital.

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

The review was 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.

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The Review recognises that the NMC has made many changes and improvements since 2014, but concludes that there are two significant areas requiring additional, urgent work: the NMC's approach to the value of evidence from and communication with patients; and its commitment in practice to transparency.

The NMC failed to act on information.

The 80-page makes 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.

Chief Executive of the Professional Standards Authority, Harry Cayton, said; "What happened at Furness General Hospital remains shocking, and the tragic deaths of babies and mothers should never have happened. The findings in the Review we are publishing today show that the response of the NMC was inadequate.

"Although the NMC has made good progress with its technical handling of complaints and concerns, there remain cultural problems which it must remedy in order for the public to have confidence in its ability to protect them from harm."

We have made improvements.

Responding to the review, Jackie Smith, the outgoing NMC Chief Executive and Registrar 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."

Lessons have been learned.

Responding to the review, Philip Graf, Chair of the NMC said: “We welcome this review and we will act on the lessons learned, ensuring that the views of families and patients are central to everything we do.

“We will also work closely with the PSA, the professions and other regulators to take forward the report’s important recommendations.”

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