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NMC calls for views to shape new five-year strategy

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The chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council has called on health professionals to help shape the future direction of the regulator.

Andrea Sutcliffe launched the development of the NMC’s new five-year strategy at the health union Unison’s annual health conference in Bournemouth today.

“I would like to invite all of you to be a part of the conversation”

Andrea Sutcliffe

She urged union members to be “part of the conversation”. Opening the second day of the conference with a keynote speech, Ms Sutcliffe asked delegates to offer the “top three things” that staff wanted the NMC to be thinking about in the future.

She said: “I would like to invite all of you to be a part of the conversation that we want to generate over the next year as we develop our strategy for 2020 through to 2025.”

As part of the strategy’s first phase, in the first three months, the NMC wanted to gather “lots of views from people across the country”, she explained.

Ms Sutcliffe said she wanted to hear about what healthcare professionals considered to be the “key issues” that needed to be taken into consideration in the development of the regulators’ strategy.

For those attending the conference this week, Ms Sutcliffe launched a postcard initiative for union members to fill out and post to the NMC with their feedback.

“Please avail yourselves of the opportunity to set out what you think the top three things are that we need to be thinking about,” she asked delegates.

Ms Sutcliffe also noted that feedback could be given online via the NMC website or staff could write to the regulator as well.

Collated feedback would be “translated into strategic themes”, which will then go to consultation, she added.

In her first interview with Nursing Times last month since taking on the role of NMC chief executive and registrar, Ms Sutcliffe said she was aspiring to develop the strategy in a “very inclusive way”.

The document is due to be launched in April 2020.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • 2. Reason for submitting this letter:
    We are all aware of the acute shortage of nurses in the NHS and its ultimate impact on the delivery of care in the healthcare environment. Since 2005, NMC requires overseas nurses from countries not belonging to the European Union to achieve high scores in International English Language Testing System [IELTS]. There are thousands of overseas nurses, like us, who came to the UK with the dreams of working here as registered nurses but could never make it due to this improper language assessment system. We are submitting this letter to request you to consider us as an answer to this acute nurses’ shortage that the healthcare industry in the UK is facing today as we are a hugely underutilized resource of untapped healthcare potential and skill already present in this country.
    3. Why should we be considered?
    • The requirements for getting NMC registration has recently changed to adopt overseas nurses who are recently trained and assessed in English. In this context, we would like to mention that we all have our nursing education taught and assessed in English. We currently work here in the UK and communicate with patients daily at our workplace. We carry out documentation of the care given relevant to our job roles. The positive feedbacks that we receive from patients, colleagues and the management support our communication and work skills.
    • In band 3- band 4 jobs as associate nurses, we do everything that registered nurses do from admission of patients to their discharge, except administering medications. Nursing documentation is a part of our job role and we do it on a daily basis. Some of the NHS trusts depend on associate nurses for oral medications as well. All these prove that there is no practical shortcoming in our skills or language, but the only barrier is the legal requirements that demands for more than what is actually required for a nurse’s job role. Please do not ignore the several years of experience that we have as registered nurse in several countries of the world.
    • We have been in the UK for several years and are familiar with its healthcare system. Majority of us are British citizens or with permanent settlement. Employing us do not cause heavy expenditure and long processing time compared to recruiting nurses from overseas, and then acquainting them to the new social and health care system.
    • Please kindly remember that hundreds of overseas nurses were recruited by the NHS without any English test until year 2005, and again with score of 6.5 for another 2 years when finally in 2007 the IELTS score demand was made 7 in each module. We are aware of the recent changes brought in by reducing IELTS writing score to 6.5and introducing OET as an alternative to IELTS, but we just want to remind you that those nurses recruited without any of these still work for the NHS all over the UK and are now in very experienced and senior positions.
    • An overseas qualified nurse who works as a registered nurse in an English speaking country is eligible for registration here. But, strangely, this rule doesn’t apply to us who already work in healthcare sector in the U.K. • Net immigration from the EU has fallen dramatically since the 2016 Brexit referendum leading to a sharp increase in demand for skilled non-EU workers. Although there is a threat of severe staff crisis, we believe
    that the government has a plan to reduce the number of immigrants entering the country. In order to achieve
    this, it would be prudent to consider helping the overseas nurses like us obtain their NMC pin number. This
    could potentially save millions of pounds and cut down the long waiting time in trying to recruit new nurses,
    and can reduce immigration as well.
    • Till September 2014, non-EEA nurses who have acquired a contract of employment were not entitled to work
    as a nurse in Ireland until they successfully completed a Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Programme or
    Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) aptitude test in the State approved by the NMBI. Entry into the
    State for these nurses is now facilitated under the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) administered by the Irish
    Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of the Department of Justice and Equality.
    • Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that in 2018, due to nurses’ shortage, the Ireland
    nursing council accepted overseas nurses who worked in their country for three or more years to register as
    nurses.
    Recomendations
    Therefore, we humbly request you to consider us to qualify as registered nurses on the basis of:
    • Overseas nursing education that was taught and assessed in English
    • Our experience in the field of nursing
    • Several years of residence in the UK
    • Familiarity to the health care system of the UK. please forward these letter to RCN/NMC,DOH.Thanks

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