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The big question: Whose role is it to provide professional advice to nurses?

The big question: Is the NMC right to remove its advisory service? Whose role is it to provide advice? Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is to discontinue offering professional advice to nurses and midwives via its telephone line and email service at the end of this month.

The decision, which has drawn criticism from the royal colleges of nursing and midwives, is part of the regulator’s attempts to refocus on its core fitness to practise functions in response to concerns raised in January by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence.

But Janet Davies, RCN executive director of nursing and service delivery, told Nursing Times: “It is quite unbelievable they are taking away what nurses regard as a useful service when they are trying to increase the fees.”

Do you think the NMC is right to refocus its efforts? Who do you think should be supporting nurses and giving advice, unions or the NMC?

Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine.

Readers' comments (10)

  • The unions should of course be our source for support and advice on our day to day working dilemmas/queries.
    The NMC however, produce the Code of Conduct and various other guidlines so surely they should be the 'expert' source for support and advice on issues relating to these.
    If their role is to protect the public, let the public purse pay for them.

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  • if the role of the NMC is to produce the code how are they protecting the public if they are not prepared to answer queries relating to it and to queries relating to practising according to their guidelines.

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  • perhaps as a point of protest maybe every single nurse should hold back their fee's as a boycott of this ridiculous system. Surely the trust you work for should be able to see that you are not fit for practice and then sack you.

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  • anybody who boycotts the NMC runs the risk of being removed from the register and if they then practice it will be illegal.

    you would think that employers could deal with nurses not deemed fit for practice but they are probably bound by too much red tape and complex employment laws and they could also be biased against a particular nurse. they would have to have very good evidence before sacking anybody but it rather depends on the terms of their contracts as well. if a nurse feels their dismissal is unfair they may find it very difficult to get the support they need to prove this such are the twists and turns of human nature, even in a caring profession such as nursing.

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  • George Kuchanny

    The answer to the Big Question posed in this article is short. No.
    Why? The first obligation of the NMC is regulation not education. The unions and Colleges have the role of protecting staff from unwarranted accusations. The NMC has the role of protecting patients from poor practice. Adivising staff by phone, however well intentioned and impartial confuses their role and moreover confuses nursing in general about the NMC's obligations.

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  • re:the above comment,the 1st obligation of the NMC is regulation not education.
    Then why should nurses pay for this.If the NMC is there to protect patients from poor practice then govt should be paying for this not the nurses.

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  • Florence

    Employment issues you cannot beat the RCN...

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  • Anonymous

    George Kuchanny | 24-Jun-2012 2:13 pm

    A bit of sanity, and correct as usual, George !

    'Who pays' is a different question - I think the official-line on that one, is that most professionals earn enough compared to unskilled workers, to be able to pay for their own regulators out of their own pockets. Which is not to say, that all professionals earn the same amount - but, does the NMC charge the same as the GMC, for example ?

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  • surely if the NMC make the rules for safe practice they must be available to answer queries on them as they may be open to different interpretations and sometimes nurses will wish for advice on how to apply them to particular circumstances.

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  • What do Doctors do when they need advice from their Ethical body?

    Not everyone is in a union and not everyone has professional indemnity insurance (few nurses could afford it anyway).

    Could the current NMC be divided into 2 seperate functions under the same banner?

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