There is more we can do to prove our commitment to public protection, and revalidation is one way in which we can detect problems earlier, says Jackie Smith
Revalidation is the biggest single change to the way we regulate nurses and midwives in the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s history and it is one that I know we can deliver.
At the moment, the NMC focuses a lot on registering qualified nurses and midwives, and we spend nearly 80% of our budget to protect the public through our fitness to practise function. Robert Francis QC’s recommendations and our own data in fitness to practise illustrate that there is more we can do to prove our commitment to public protection, and revalidation is one way in which we can detect problems earlier. We are also waiting for the government to approve changes to our legislation, which will help us to progress our cases more quickly and effectively.
‘We are rightly under close scrutiny to make sure we deliver an affordable risk-based system that is proportionate and that will provide great public confidence in the professions we regulate’
Revalidation will be integrated into the career path of current and future nurses and midwives, providing a regular opportunity to pause and reflect on their practice in line with the Code and what it means to be a registered nurse or midwife.
At the beginning of the year, we started seeking your views and the views of the public to find out how revalidation might look and fit into the vast array of modern healthcare settings. In addition to the online consultation, we are meeting with people around the UK, to hear first hand how they think it could be applied, and where they think there could be challenges.
These meetings have provided an opportunity for participants to examine and debate the proposed model with openness, to challenge our assumptions, and to provide us with innovative suggestions. In addition to meeting with individual nurses and midwives working in different care settings across the UK, we are also working with employers in the health service and in the independent and voluntary sectors, in order to make sure they understand how revalidation will affect them.
It is great to see that we have already had so many responses to the consultation. We’ve had over 3,600 so far, but we want to hear from more of you: this is important to you, as professionals; to your employer and to the public, so please have your say. We want to hear your thoughts, concerns and ideas to make sure that whether you are a nurse on the ward in hospital or a community midwife in a remote rural area, revalidation will work for you.
Alongside revalidation we will also be reviewing the Code, which will underpin revalidation to make sure that nurses and midwives continue to have the right skills and behaviours to deliver safe and effective patient care. Revalidation will have, at its heart, confirmation from the individual nurse or midwife that they are fit to practise in accordance with the revised Code.
Major inquiries into poor quality care have affected us all. In particular, many of the 290 recommendations in the Francis report have shaped the future direction of how we conduct our core function to protect the public. We are rightly under close scrutiny to make sure we deliver an affordable risk-based system that is proportionate and that will provide great public confidence in the professions we regulate.
It’s a huge task, but it’s one that I am committed to delivering by the end of 2015.
- The consultation on revalidation is open until 31 March 2014. Make sure you have your say by visiting www.nmc-uk.org/revalidation
Jackie Smith is chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council