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NMC has made 'substantial improvements', says report


The nursing regulator has made “substantial improvements” two years on from a damning review that concluded the organisation had lost its way, says a new report.

However, the Nursing and Midwifery Council still needs to get to grips with key issues including IT and “customer service”, according to the independent assessment by business analysts KPMG.

The report was commissioned by the NMC to assess progress on recommendations made by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (now the Professional Standards Authority) in 2012.

“This independent report concludes is that not only have we fixed the problems identified by the PSA in all areas but we’ve made substantial improvements”

Jackie Smith

That review found the NMC was “failing at every level”. However, the latest report concludes the NMC is in “a much stronger position than was the case in 2012”.

It says: “Overall this review has identified that the NMC has made a substantial number of improvements, either fully implemented or underway.”

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said the report drew “a line in the sand under the NMC’s previous poor performance”.

“In 2012 the PSA basically said the NMC was broken and need to be fixed,” she told Nursing Times. “What this independent report concludes is that not only have we fixed the problems identified by the PSA in all areas but we’ve made substantial improvements.

“I think that is something the public and professions can take comfort from and have confidence in us going forward.

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

“We are not complacent and know we have a lot to do. The report identifies the areas we should be focusing on and which we are focusing on in any event.”

The report concluded the NMC had made good or better than expected progress on 14 out of the 15 recommendations made by the PSA but found it had been slow to update “out-dated” IT systems that risked hampering the efficient running of the organisation.

Ms Smith said IT was one of three key priorities for the organisation going forward alongside efforts to support and engage its own staff, and further work to improve “customer service”.

She said the creation of NMC Online facility was one example of how the organisation was trying to improve day-to-day interactions with nurses, midwives and others.

Meanwhile the body would soon be introducing a new set of “customer service standards” to apply across the organisation alongside new measures to monitor performance.

“What we’re talking about is a corporate, cohesive approach to customer service so it’s not bits of good practice in parts of the organisation,” said Ms Smith.

“It’s about the interaction people have with us and making sure that is a good experience whether you are giving evidence at a hearing or filling out your form online and paying your fee.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • I passed a Return to Practice course with an A Grade and got my results on 18/7/14.I completed the NMC Registration pack,got three good nursing references and returned it within the week.
    I am still waiting for my PIN number.When I phoned up there were 25 people in the phone queue ahead of me.It cost me a small fortunes on my phone bill to get through.
    I was told
    "You've been in a queue since the 22nd of August.There are a couple of hundred people in front of you,and hundreds behind you.It's just a case of being patient I'm afraid."
    In the meantime I've missed out on some brilliant career opportunities.
    Is that evidence of substantial improvement?
    There should be targets set for NMC such as: time taken to answer phone calls, time taken to answer e-mails,certain target times for issuing PIN numbers.At least if they had these in place there would be evidence of the 'substantial improvements' we are being told about in this report.
    And they want to put the fee for their services up to £120??? really?

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  • I have noticed that people who go to the head office and make a fuss do get their registration sorted out more quickly. Definitely not good customer service to have to go to central London to get listened to.

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  • Sorry, you're still not getting another 20 quid a year from me, I'd sooner let my registration lapse.

    The NMC is a failed institution and is unique in that it can work out - almost to the penny - how much money it has to play with each year, yet it still is financially inept.

    The NMC should be offering us refunds for being completely and utterly unfit for purpose all these years.

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  • This is 2014 not 2012 and the NMC is still not fit for purpose

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