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High risk that some overseas nurses are 'fraudulently' registered

Some overseas nurses may be registered “fraudulently”, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has warned.

The regulator suspended all new applications from overseas nurses at the beginning of February while it reviewed its processes, as reported by Nursing Times.

The NMC council was told last week that the issue of registering overseas nurses was one of the biggest risks now facing the organisation.

A report to the council warned that there was a risk its “overseas registration policy and related processes are not sufficiently robust”. This could mean overseas applicants had been “fraudulently registered” and “undermine the integrity of the register”, it stated.

Council members also heard the risk to the integrity of the register for all nurses had been escalated from an “amber” rating to a “red” rating this month.

The NMC has a long standing problem with sharing information between the computer systems used for registration and the case management of referrals. The problem means sanctions or restrictions on a nurse’s practise do not always appear on the register when searched by employers.

The council was told that the regulator was running daily reports to check for discrepancies.

In her report to the meeting, NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said the regulator would be reviewing EU and UK registration processes once the overseas review was complete.

Readers' comments (19)

  • Doesn't sound good. I like the fee to be cut by 50% for admin/IT incompetence, many thanks ;)

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  • looks like they need to simplify and streamline their systems to make them efficient and cost effective. by doing so they may be able to cut back on some jobs, their expenses and registration fees! Thank you.

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  • I thought the whole idea of the NMC was to protect the public - how can they have done this if they have allowed nurses to go on the register who are not nurses. What exactly is the purpose of the NMC and what exactly am I paying for?

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  • why isn't there an enquiry into why they did not protect the public from negligent nursing at mid-Staffs. Isn't that what the fees go towards?

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  • surprise surprise! Doesn't NMC have a system in place to check before they actually admit someone on their Register? Don't Just pick on overseas Nurses,extent your investigation to nurses coming from EU as well.some nurses' competence levels leave much to be desired.
    I rest my case.

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  • It looks like the NMC may be on borrowed time.

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  • This is nothing new. In the 1980's we had huge problems with NMC registration numbers. Nurses from overseas having several registrations under two names, an anglicised name and using their birth name. We even had people using someone else's registration number to work! We used agency nurses and discovered this when we had refused to offer a particular nurse work again due to the poor standards and then she turned up under another name a little while later! She had dual registration and if we had not recognised her it would not have been found out.

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  • Personally I think their borrowed time should be considered EXPIRED. Not fit for purpose and other similar bodies competence have been called into question by recent tragedies both in the NHS and private sector care organisations.
    A single care regulator for all caring and clinical staff including managers to prevent staff struck off from one sector being able to continue to practice in a related profession/role.

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  • Personally I think their borrowed time should be considered EXPIRED. Not fit for purpose and other similar bodies competence have been called into question by recent tragedies both in the NHS and private sector care organisations.
    A single care regulator for all caring and clinical staff including managers to prevent staff struck off from one sector being able to continue to practice in a related profession/role.

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  • The problem is not the overseas Nurses. Its the process and the regulators. It's the responsibility of the NMC to ensure that errors such as these do not occur. On the other investigate all your nurses passing and registering not only Overseas.

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  • Anon 4.02
    Nurses from every country except the UK are foreign. Are France, Germany and Poland not foreign countries? Even though they are in the EU?
    Do you know you can get a map that can show you the way from your arse to your elbow?

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  • Frankly I think that the NMC should be paid from public funding, as they are there to protect the public from incompetent nurses and
    I don't need their yearly magazine.

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  • Anonymous | 26-Feb-2013 8:11 pm

    I agree, NMC should be publically funded, and as we also pay taxes, therefore we've already paid for it.

    Most of us don't cause problems or needs investigating. A database of our names and PIN can't cost that much, say £10/yr at a generous guess including processing card payments. The treasury can pay for the rest.

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  • andy | 26-Feb-2013 9:04 pm

    I agree one hundred per cent too.

    besides if you live in Europe in a non-EU country you pay the same fees but do not get the magazine!

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  • A nurse trained outside of the EEA. will (was) be required to undertake the Overseas Nursing Adaptation Programme prior to obtaining full NMC registration.

    It is during this course that current registrants have the opportunity to test the nursing skills and knowledge together with an applicants English Language ability.

    It is NOT the NMC who determine that an applicant is fit to practise it someone who is already on the register. This is the same dereliction of duty as is seen demonstrated by "mentors" who never have the courage to "fail" a student on placement !

    Clearly the NMC has duty to (as far as is possible) identify those applications made on the basis of forged documentation.

    Don't blame the NMC for failures which have roots embedded in the professions own failings to identify those unsuited for professional registration.

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  • anon 4.05 - the NMC has a duty to ensure that nurses on their register hold a current NMC license. That is their job. If they don't have a duty to ensure nurses are fit to practice then how can they determine when nurses are not fit to practice.

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  • it must not only a question of passing an English test but also being able to demonstrate an ability to carry out cross-cultural communications and nursing care.

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  • Anonymous | 27-Feb-2013 11:34 am

    Read my post again !

    Before a non EEA nurse can be registered s/he has to be certified by a current registrant as being a fit and proper person to be registered by the NMC

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  • Anonymous | 27-Feb-2013 11:34 am

    To save you the trouble here is a link to the detail of the Swansea Uni's Overseas Nursing Adaptation Programme.

    Read it

    http://www.swan.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/continuingeducationinhealthscience/adaptationprogrammeforoverseasnurses/

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