The comments from some nurses on nursingtimes.net highlight how much confusion exists surrounding the role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
There are lots of remarks berating the NMC for not representing or standing up for nurses, when in fact, its job is to safeguard the public and protect patients. In that, it is absolutely no different to the General Medical Council, despite comments on our site to the contrary. It is the unions’ job to represent nurses.
I understand nurses’ antipathy to an organisation to which you have to pay to belong, and which has the power to remove your earning power and good name. But it also gives you the right to call yourself a registered nurse. The fee is one of the lowest for regulated professionals, and you can claim back tax (see tinyurl.com/NMC-paying-fees).
Recent events prove we do need a body to independently stand judgement over nurses. Many referrals are spurious but there are bad apples who will only serve to damage the profession and undermine those doing a good job if they continue to practise.
The issue of what to do if you come across those bad apples has been a hot topic on our website too. Winterbourne View re-ignited the debate over whistleblowing. And so we’ve asked Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes, chief executive and general registrar of the NMC, to host a webchat about raising concerns. He will answer your questions live at 1pm on 1 July on nursingtimes.net. If you can’t join us, email questions to email@example.com or post them on our website. And if you miss it, the webchat will be on our site afterwards. But we urge you not to.
Don’t miss entering our awards too at ntawards.co.uk. Check out the new Rising Star award for nurses who have been practising under five years. And we’re celebrating our own win - nursing times.net won the Chairman’s Award at the Online Media Awards last week, while online editor Rachel Purkett scooped a commendation. Go to Nursing Times’s Facebook page to see us celebrating.