The Nursing and Midwifery Council will offer “dedicated, personalised support” to those raising concerns about a nurses or midwife.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced it will offer ‘personalised support’ to members of the public who raise concerns about nurses and midwives.
Anyone making a complaint about a nurse and midwife will now receive one to one phone support, with a dedicated, named contact who will be available to them throughout the process.
An independent group of patients and family members alongside a network of 60 NMC employees have also been set up – designed to spearhead the project and improve the way employees across the whole organisation communicate with the public.
The initiative was launched after the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) Lessons Learned Review criticised how the regulator handled concerns about a nurse or midwives’ fitness to practise.
The regulator has not said what support it will offer to nurses and midwives throughout the fitness to practice process.
‘No one ever said they were sorry’.
Jessie Cunnett, Head of Public Support Service, said: “Making a complaint about a nurse or midwife can be a distressing and uncertain time and we know we haven’t always got things right. But we’re absolutely committed to listening to people’s concerns and giving them a voice when things go wrong with their care, treating them with the respect, compassion and humanity they deserve.
“But the support service is about much more than improving how we write a letter or answer a phone call. It’s about our employees establishing a relationship with those receiving care and their loved ones so that we’re able to better meet their needs and support better, safer care.”
Sarah Seddon, the first person to contact the service directly said: “During my first five months of contact with the NMC I felt let down, alone and confused – my complaint felt like just another in a long line, being handed from one person to another. During that time no one ever said they were sorry to hear about what had happened to me.
“Trying to get someone to hear me was exhausting – I wasn’t writing emails for the fun of it.
“Since being in contact with the support service my opinions of the NMC have been completely reversed. I finally saw compassion, quick responses and I was spoken to as an equal. I believe that the NMC should be very proud of the way that their public support service is developing. It is not a ‘nice to have’ service – it is absolutely essential. It really did make an enormous difference to me.”