Nurses and midwives are being asked for their views on the new process under which they must prove they are fit to practise every three years.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has today launched the first part of a consultation exercise on a system of revalidation for nurses and midwives.
Using an online survey, it asks a series of questions on how the principles of revalidation can be applied in different practice and employment settings.
The consultation also looks at potential changes to the content and structure of the NMC’s code of conduct.
The NMC council committed itself to introduce a model of revalidation for nursing at its council meeting in September.
Under its proposals, registered nurses and midwives will have to demonstrate they remain fit to practise and continue to adhere to the professional standards set out in the NMC code. Everyone on the NMC register will need to revalidate every three years at the point of renewal of registration.
The move, which intended to increase patient protection and public confidence in nurses and midwives, follows mounting pressure for a system of checks on fitness to practise.
The Francis report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, published last February, said nurse revalidation would be “highly desirable”.
Both the Department of Health and the Professional Standards Authority – the body that oversees the NMC – have also recommended that a continuing fitness to practise measurement, such as revalidation, is necessary for all healthcare professions.
Dr Katerina Kolyva, director of continued practice at the NMC, urged registrants to take part in the consultation exercise. She said. “We will use the responses to make sure revalidation works meaningfully across the entire landscape of nursing and midwifery.”
She added: “The code is central to revalidation, so we are also taking the opportunity to ask what a revised code and supporting guidance should look like, feel like and contain.”
The consultation seeks views on:
- Ways in which nurses and midwives can obtain confirmation of their continuing fitness to practise by someone well placed to comment
- Using practice related feedback to improve standards of care
- How revalidation can meet the needs of an individual’s scope of practice or setting
- The look, feel and content of a revised code
The consultation runs until 31 March 2014. It is the first of a two part consultation, with the second part to follow in spring 2014.
Revalidation for doctors started on 3 December 2012, with the expectation the majority of licensed medics in the UK will have been checked for the first time by March 2016.
Calls for the revalidation of doctors can be traced back to the case of the former Hyde GP Harold Shipman, who was found guilty in 2000 of murdering 15 patients.
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