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.