'Nursing is entitled to an effective regulator'
We’ve probably all got a few wardrobes that are a little bit cluttered and we wouldn’t want people to peer into for too long.
Still, we shut the mess away behind our closet doors, and comfort ourselves with the thought that at least we are a few piles of used Christmas cards short of appearing on a Channel 4 documentary about our propensity to hoard.
But the Nursing and Midwifery Council cannot enjoy such blissful ignorance and is having to throw open its cupboard doors to the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence for its second strategic review in four years. And while it says that it’s keen to work with the CHRE, everyone in its headquarters must have some trepidation about what the report will say once it is published in May.
The CHRE says this will be different to the review in 2008 – it will be “forward looking”. But in the process, it’s surely going to have to take time looking back at what exactly has been happening.
Could it be the culture – called into question once before when the council found examples of “inappropriate behaviour”? Or is it the pressure – are there just so many nurses on the world’s largest register that it is just impossible to regulate it efficiently?
It has been asked whether the NMC focuses too much on education – but as was noted at the CHRE press conference last week, a failure to get training right will lead to greater problems later.
Coincidentally, the findings are likely to come just before the Francis report into what happened at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, when the profession will be under scrutiny. This is the time to sort the NMC out once and for all – and they should hide nothing as the CHRE attempts to get to the root of the problem.
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