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Thousands reject NMC plans for FTP sign-off by non-registrant

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has rowed back on plans for revalidation that could have meant nurses’ fitness to practise being confirmed by someone with no nursing experience or training.

A report to last week’s NMC Council meeting shows the first phase of a major consultation on revalidation attracted nearly 10,000 responses, including 3,000 from members of the public.

“It came out very strongly that people wanted confirmation to be by a fellow registrant”

Howard Catton

Under proposals set out by the regulator, nurses would need to have their fitness to practise confirmed by a third party. Initial plans indicated this could be a manager who was not a nurse or midwife.

However, this idea did not prove very popular with respondents to the first part of the consultation. The person most frequently selected as being appropriate to provide third party confirmation was an NMC-registered nurse or midwife who oversees the work of the nurse or midwife − 75% of individuals and 82% of organisations were of this view.

In addition 84% of midwives supported a supervisor of midwives being the confirmer.

The meeting heard this idea would be explored in the second phase of the consultation on revalidation, which kicked off in May, following an initial consultation phase that began in January.

“The consultation is – and always was – designed to hone down from a range of options in the first half of the consultation”

NMC spokeswoman

It could mean nurses who report to non-clinical staff may need to get confirmation from two people unless their line manager is registered with the NMC.

RCN head of policy Howard Catton welcomed the rethink and said it showed the NMC had listened to nurses.

“When we asked our members, it came out very strongly that people wanted confirmation to be by a fellow registrant,” he said.

He added that the model would have to be flexible enough to work for registrants in “unusual, unique or isolated roles”, such as an occupational health nurse working in a factory.

Requirements for continuing professional development also look set to be strengthened under the revalidation plans. The NMC is consulting on increasing the number of hours of CPD nurses and midwives must do to stay registered from 35 over a three-year period to 40.

The regulator is also considering specifying that at least half of this time should be spent in “participatory learning” such as attending a course or a conference.

There are currently no set standards for CPD. Nursing Times understands that some nurses have previously cited watching an episode of a hospital TV drama as CPD activity.

The report said the proposed change is based on research that shows the most effective CPD activities are those that take place over time and involve “an interactive method of delivery”, said the report.

Regarding the consultation process, a spokeswoman for the NMC said: “We have listened to thousands of people across a range of sectors and settings whose contribution has helped us to shape revalidation to this point. The model will be agreed by [the NMC’s] council at the end of the year.

She added: “The consultation is – and always was – designed to hone down from a range of options in the first half of the consultation to become more specific about the model in this, the second half.

“Based on the invaluable feedback we gathered in part one, we are now seeking input about whether a registrant confirmer will work for all nurses and midwives no matter what their employment setting.”

She urged Nursing Times readers to let the regulator know their views on the issue by taking part in the second phase of its consultation on revalidation.

Readers' comments (14)

  • who comes out with this s---????

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  • doesn't matter who comes out with it.....fact is I believe the sh-- is coming.

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  • Oh goody: increase the number of hours CPD necessary.

    And what about insisting that employers are obliged to honour this with guaranteed study time? Rather than us having to beg for everything?

    It isn't a bad idea per se, but meanwhile in the real world...

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  • Supervision of midwifery when carried out well, fulfils this function as it has done (again in best practice) since 1902. Could we not have this as a model to build on for midwives anyway and strengthen the weaker areas making to more robust.

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  • If they want us to do more CPD, they really need to look at staffing levels because as it stands I can barely cope with the amount of training already required for my area. We have so any problems at ground level it amazes me that more and more demands are placed on us. Let us get on with the job we are trained to do. Whoever decided it just might be okay to let a manager with no nursing skill sign off a nurses' fitness to practice has lost the plot. Is the NHS not in enough bother?

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  • You can't have the cat as well as the cream. Maintaining fitness to practice requires commitment and resources both from employee and employer. The employee gives their time and dedication to succeed and the employer the appropriate training and time to train for each individual. Unless this occurs days are numbered for nursing as a profession. We will once again be relegated to the dark ages where governance of nursing will be the remit of non-nurses who might have a background in many disciplines. WAKE UP!!

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  • Mohammad  Ullah

    What is the current policy and practice in the UK to re-validate the fitness of practice for physicians and other health care professionals? The NMC plan will create an opportunity for non-registrants to take more control over nurses professional practice and autonomy. The plan should be supported by the findings of nursing research. not by the influence of policy makers and employers.

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  • Maybe senior nurses can take control of other healthcare professionals registration bodies to facilitate transparency and raise standards too. Since a non-nurse is in charge of NMC, similarly this should be applied elsewhere.

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  • As tit for tat when will clinicians (of any discipline) be allowed to control FTP for managers?

    That could be amusing...

    Oh, sorry, I forgot: managers don't have any form of regulatory or professional body, do they?

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  • tinkerbell

    BasketPress | 11-Jun-2014 9:30 am

    agree, incompetent management has destroyed us.

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  • As long as we are appraised/ re validated by a qualified nurse/midwife outside our trust it may work. Appraisals at the moment being carried out by our managers are glorified paper exercises as there is no way a nurse will risk her/his position especially if on a limited contract by being negative about either her/his work place or manager

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  • It is nigh on impossible to go to a conference unless you pay for it yourself and go in your own time. 40 hrs of CPD would be great if we had the protected time and the funding but it's never going to happen is it??

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  • why not reject the NMC?

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  • Do people honestly struggle to do 35 hours of CPD over three years? Even 40 isn't a massive amount.

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