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NMC halves completion times for investigations

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is improving its performance on completing fitness to practise cases, latest figures suggest.

The average investigation is now taking 10 months, compared to more than 22 months two years ago, according to figures reported to the NMC council at the end of January.   

However, NMC chief executive Jackie Smith cautioned that the average would “fluctuate from month to month, as we move through a large number of historic cases”.

She said the regulator was now holding 22 substantive hearings a day, compared to eight two years ago. In addition it was imposing interim orders on average within 26 days of referral – down from 58 days two years ago.

Ms Smith said: “It is good to be reporting progress but we will not be complacent.

“The NMC has, in the past, promised too much and delivered too little. We have geared up for a fierce pace of 22 hearings a day, but these must also be delivered to a high standard.”

The regulator increased the registration fee from £76 to £100 on 1 February, as part of efforts to shore up its finances, which are under significant strain from a major rise in fitness to practise referrals and its historic case backlog.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Only half as inefficient as they used to be then? I guess its easy to be sarcastic but given the public beating dished out to Mid-Staffs box ticking culture it is important that the NMC do not go down the same route - including the new "you can jump before we push you" option for Registrants who are reported.

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  • The speed of dealing with cases is improving but what about the quality of the decision making both by staff and panellists and the customer service by the organisation. In many ways both of these are far more important than the actual time it takes to process the complaint. How is this being measured by the NMC and external bodies?

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  • The regulator increased the registration fee from £76 to £100 on 1 February, as part of efforts to shore up its finances, which are under significant strain from a major rise in fitness to practise referrals and its historic case backlog.

    Good to know the circa £40 million in fees is being utilized so well.

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