Publication of the plan comes in the wake of allegations that the regulator has ‘an ingrained culture of bullying and racism’ (NT News, 18 March, p2).
According to the NMC, the new plan outlines what is expected from everyone, from its receptionists to chief executive, to make sure the regulator meets eight objectives in its race equality scheme.
The NMC’s race equality scheme, which requires the publication of the action plan, allows the organisation to say it complies with the Race Relations Act 2000 – a requirement for all public bodies.
Natalie Salmon, NMC’s head of quality and diversity, said the document, which sets out eight objectives, was developed ahead of recent events.
Last month, NT reported how Livingstone MP Jim Devine made public claims of racism and bullying at the NMC in the Commons. NMC vice president Moi Ali is taking the regulator to an industrial tribunal on grounds of racial discrimination.
The NMC would not comment on individual cases but continued to deny Mr Devine’s allegations strongly. A spokesperson said it had six internal investigations under way over the claims.
A Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence’s performance review of the NMC, requested by health minister Ben Bradshaw following the revelations, will report in May.
Meanwhile, the NMC is also trying to attract nurses from diverse backgrounds to sit on its fitness to practise panel.
Of 60 new panellists, 10 are not white British. The regulator was unable to provide NT with information on the ethnic make-up of the other 127 panellists recruited in previous years.
Ms Salmon said: ‘We know it is not representative and we want it to be and, [with] the first lot of new recruitment, did just that. We need to build on and continue with this which is why we are doing this now.’