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Regulator faces bullying claims

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An MP and NMC council members have raised concerns over claims of bullying and racism at the regulator.

Former nurse Jim Devine, now MP for Livingstone, last week asked health minister Ben Bradshaw to meet with a group of NMC council members who had raised concerns about the structure of the body.

‘It appears to be very racist and to employ a bullying strategy,’ he told the Commons.

Speaking to NT later, Mr Devine said: ‘Concerns had been expressed about issues of performance and behaviours currently taking place within the NMC.

‘It does seem that this body is unfit for purpose,’ he said.

In the middle of last year a number of council members also sent a letter to the Department of Health raising similar concerns, NT has learnt.

In addition, NT has discovered the NMC paid settlements to senior staff who left after working relationships broke down. Two of the payments were worth more than £100,000 each.

‘As a registrant who contributed fees for many years, I would ask if this is how nurses’ money should be being spent,’ said Mr Devine.

But the NMC insisted it had a good track record for promoting equality and diversity, and any allegations of discrimination were investigated fully and in accordance with the principles of good practice.

‘We simply do not recognise the organisation that Mr Devine describes,’ the council said in a statement.

‘We sincerely hope that he will take the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the NMC, its staff and the important work that we do to safeguard the health and well-being of patients and
the public.’

Regarding the pay-offs, the council said it would be ‘utterly inappropriate’ to breach confidentiality by commenting on dealings relating to current or former employees.

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