The Nursing and Midwifery Council is planning to withdraw its standards for medicines management, according to draft proposals drawn up as part of its major review of nurse education.
The regulator said that many parts of the profession had suggested that it was not the NMC’s role to produce such standards and that employers themselves should be responsible for the medicines management area of practice.
In NMC council papers, due to be discussed next week, the regulator also said it had been told that its detailed standards on medicines management – last updated in 2007 – could be a “barrier to more contemporary medicines optimisation approaches”.
“[The NMC’s standards] can be a barrier to more contemporary medicines optimisation approaches”
NMC council papers
In addition, it noted that no other professional regulator set requirements for medicines management in the way that it currently did, and that the NMC code for nurses and midwives ”covered” the area, as would the draft new standards for pre-registration education.
The regulator acknowledged that some concerns had, however, been raised that a number of organisations and individuals relied on the present NMC’s standards on medicines management.
But the NMC said it had “identified current available guidance relating to managing medicines”, which was produced by other professional bodies “that are better placed to produce fully up to date guidance in this area of practice”.
“If a decision was taken at a later date to remove these standards, we would take the opportunity to work with others to signpost to such guidance from our website, thus offering a more proportionate approach to patient safety and public protection,” said the council papers.
The NMC council will decide at a meeting next week whether to agree to hold a consultation on withdrawing the standards.