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NMC issues Facebook and Twitter warning

  • 106 Comments

Nurses who use social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In, have been warned they could be struck off the nursing register if their usage is deemed inappropriate by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The regulator has confirmed that “a number” of nurses are currently being investigated for their activity on such websites and, as a result, it launched guidance specifically on social networking this week.

The guidance recommends that nurses ensure they use privacy settings when visiting such sites, and that they do not post anything they would not want others to see. In a few previous cases, the NMC said nurses had used such sites to pursue inappropriate relationships with service users, or posted photographs that breach patient confidentiality.

A spokesman for the regulator told Nursing Times: “The last thing we would want is a mass exodus from using these sites. They are useful for services and for nurses, but nurses need to continue to uphold the NMC code online as they do face to face.”

In an NMC statement on the guidance, the regulator’s chief executive Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes said: “The NMC is committed to public protection and ensuring nurses and midwives make the welfare of those in their care their first priority at all times.

“I would advise nurses and midwives to exercise caution when using social networking sites. They could risk their registration if they share sensitive information, make inappropriate comments, or befriend patients online.”

The NMC advice on social networking sites includes the following suggestions:

  • Never put confidential or sensitive information on social networking sites, especially if it identifies patients.
  • Whether or not you identify your work role online, be aware that all your activity online can reflect on your professional life.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from patients, or use social networks to build or pursue relationships with patients or clients, even if they are no longer in your care.
  • Do not post pictures that have patients in them.
  • Keep personal and professional social networking as separate as possible.
  • Consider everything you post as public, even in ‘private’ Facebook discussions.
  • Social networking sites should not be used for whistle-blowing or raising concerns – instead follow the NMC’s guidance on raising and escalating concerns.
  • Don’t discuss work online, and especially avoid talking about patients or colleagues.
  • Don’t simply accept the preset privacy and sharing settings on Facebook, think carefully about what you want to share with different kinds of friends.
  • Remember you can take action if you find you are the target of abuse; there are options available for blocking people from interacting with you.
  • 106 Comments

Readers' comments (106)

  • Steve Williams

    "nurses need to continue to uphold the NMC code online as they do face to face.”

    Is this Orwellian double-speak bollox or just another example of Martin Niemoller... yet again...

    -----------------------------------------

    First they came

    First they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    -----------------------------------------

    First the PC Thought Police came for FaceBook

    Then they came for Twitter...

    Next they will be on here... violating your right to free speech!

    The NMC is a no-brain collection of dinos that are not only out of touch with modern nursing but also technology and social trends.

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  • And the witchfinder generals are out again.

    They don't want a mass exodus from the sites? What do they expect to happen when we know they can throw the book at us for any slight THEY feel is wrong? They can make up the rules as they go!

    This just proves many of the points I was making before the webchat with the NMC last week. They should be bloody ashamed of themselves. And NT, if you want more people to contribute on here, or participate in other media such as twitter, you may need to get to grips with this with the NMC.

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  • If you read the story carefully you'll see that the guidance was written because nurses have been struck off for using Facebook to pursue inappropriate relationships or post pictures of patients. That's nothing to do with being PC. Surely you don't think it's ok to do that? It seems reasonable for the NMC to offer advice on this given that some people have been stupid enough to do that. I don't think they are saying we can't use FB etc - just that we shoulod think about what we do.

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  • Jenni Middleton

    I think everyone needs to be aware that this isn't a witchhunt for those voicing opinions - but there are some serious cases that do need to make every nurse stop and think. One nurse (and this was in America, so it wasn't an NMC case), posed with a patient's placenta and uploaded it on her Facebook page, while another nurse here in the UK started a relationship with a mental health service user through Facebook, and then blocked them, causing the service user to self-harm and a lot of distress. I think this isn't about freedom of speech, this is about appropriate behaviour.

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  • I think that as nurses we have to remember that our code of professional conduct is paramount at ALL TIMES !! I am a huge advocate of nurses using social media especially in a professional capacity and regularly tweet and blog about the development of #nurseuk in crreating an online nurse community, but there have to be clear boundaries - social media is a public forum and should be respected as such, the rules of confidentiality and our code of conduct apply to social media as much as they apply to any aspect of our lives.

    There is a wealth of information that we can share as nurses using social media and this can aid with development and training. We must not let a few inappropriate nurses put us off using these tools as i believe that social media has a very important role to play in the future of nursing and nursing communities.

    For more information http://bit.ly/m5xDUH

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  • I agree that care must be taken when using social media, but not just for the obvious breaches of patient dignity and confidentiality (which have been perpetrated by a very small minority of twits).

    Much more worrying, and I agree with Mike on this, is the NMC's interpretation of what merits innappropriate usage. Big Brother is watching you. This organisation is rotten to the core, unfit for purpose, DOES conduct witchhunts (whilst ignoring serious issues like Winterbourne), and needs to be scrapped and replaced by something that works for the public and the profession.

    I'm not interested in using social media for 'development and training'. I want to keep up to date with my family and friends, some close-by and some far-flung, swap news and have a laugh. That's got NOTHING to do with the NMC. It can shove its guidance. Last time I looked, freedom of expression hadn't been completely eroded in this country.

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  • Anonymous | 8-Jul-2011 4:50 pm, whilst I agree that there are a few extreme cases that warrant attention as you and others say, these are in the extreme minority. My issues with this are that as I said earlier, it is the fact that we are being judged outside of work as well as what we do at work, as well as the interpretation of what justifies acceptable when that interpretation lies solely with the NMC, who I'm sorry Jenni, DO have a reputation for witch hunting. It is a very slippery slope.

    Another point Jenni, this isn't simply about appropriate behaviour, although that is certainly an issue in some extreme examples, this is about a gross invasion into our private lives too. For every extreme example you can name, I will bet there are a number of grossly unfair and invasive 'investigations' too. Just look at the NMC list of people being investigated (again, I do not think people being investigated should be named either), there are a lot of spurious reasons on there. I mean by what right does the NMC have to snoop on a private conversation between a group of friends on face book? Who says it is wrong for a Nurse to have a private life and post a few drunken pictures of themselves on a night out on the 'wall' or whatever it is called (and yes, there have been investigations into that too, by using the catch all 'bringing the profession into disrepute'.) We have a right to a private life too. Our so called professional body should have no right to judge on actions OUTSIDE of work, and that includes on social media.

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  • dam right i whole heartedly agree with mags and mike

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  • I think this is going the direction of invasion of privacy. However the idiots who decide to put pictures of patients on facebook or conduct inappropiate relation ships with patients should obviously be struck off however these type of people would have conducted this type of relationship without facebook. Nursing is stressful enough as it is when you finish work the last thing you need to be worrying about is who is monitoring pictures or comments on FB, twitter etc. As long as your job or patients you encounter in the NHS is not ever mentioned.

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  • Quite rightly, people in the nursing and allied professions should be aware of what they post on social networking sites. Those who breech patient confidentiality, or choose to conduct INAPPROPRIATE relationships with patients online should be reprimanded. There are rules and a little thing called THE CODE OF CONDUCT, now whether or not you agree with what is written in the code is irrelevant, it is up to each member of the nursing profession to uphold and abide by these rules if you want to keep your job, and if you have a grievance or a concern then to go through the appropriate measures to change things. Some of the code MAY BE inappropriate and outdated now, but the code of conduct is there to protect PATIENTS at the end of the day, not for your own ends. If you were to work elsewhere, and that 'elsewhere' has rules, then they are usually there for a good reason like the protection of consumers or clients, not just for the sake of being there, or for those who write/devise them to massage their own self righteousness. I do not believe this is an exercise in NMC snooping, but an attempt to protect those we are supposed to care for. Just be careful of your social net work input, that is not too much to ask, is it?
    ,

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  • there does not seem to be any reason to mix professional life and social life. If this is respected there should be no difficulties and any breach should be investigated by employers and the NMC.

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  • Anonymous | 9-Jul-2011 11:13 pm

    You admit that some of the rules within the "... little thing called THE CODE OF CONDUCT...." , "..MAY BE inappropriate and outdated now..".
    Well in 1998, the UK incorporated the European Convention, and the guarantee of freedom of expression it contains in Article 10, into its domestic law under the Human Rights Act.
    Dangerous statements like, "....now whether or not you agree with what is written in the code is irrelevant, it is up to each member of the nursing profession to uphold and abide by these rules if you want to keep your job,...." reek of sinister undertones. Really? You want everyone to uphold a code of conduct that, by your own admission might be outdated and inappropriate? Well you can follow it robot-fashion, (whilst creating an aura of mistrust) if you like. However, there is a little thing called FREEDOM OF SPEECH enshrined in law. Keep it in mind. That's not too much to ask, is it?

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  • There is a public consensus of opinion, I think, about how all members of professions would be expected to behave socially and professionally. Why does this not include the nursing profession? Mike. As both a nurse and
    a patient I would expect this. I do not think it is demeaning or inhuman to expect standards of conduct from nurses on public social chat sites and hope that behaviour that falls below this is monitored and yes reported! I think this is what is part & parcel of belonging to a profession bound by a code of conduct. No problem .

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  • I think the point is being missed here. No one has posted in support of those who act in breach of patient confidentiality or dignity. And no one is advocating that we act in an unprofessional manner.

    What some of us are warning about is just who is 'monitoring' and standing in judgement regarding our 'behaviour' on social networking sites? If it is the ineffectual NMC, then that is very worrying.

    It is apparently "No problem" to some and good luck to them. I wonder how they'll feel when that perfectly innocent comment or photograph posted on their FB wall is deemed inappropriate by some 'monitor'....."and yes reported"!

    One commenter even admits that "...Some of the code MAY BE inappropriate and outdated now,...." and yet states, "...now whether or not you agree with what is written in the code is irrelevant, it is up to each member of the nursing profession to uphold and abide by these rules if you want to keep your job,...". Astonishing!!!!! Are we happy throw free speech out of the window and become a profession of sheep? Well I'm bloody not!!

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  • Anonymous | 10-Jul-2011 10:05 pm you have completely missed the point here. Yes as a professional there are standards of behaviour IN WORK that we adhere to, there are also certain acts outside of it, breaking certain laws, breaching confidentiality etc, that we can and should be held to account on. HOWEVER, what right does ANY professional body have to effectively snoop on our PRIVATE lives, what right does any professional body have to deem what is and what isn't acceptable OUTSIDE of their remit of work (again with the exceptions stated above). I mean, where does it end? Who holds those regulators to account when they can effectively change the goal posts at any time? Are we not allowed a right to a private life? No, sorry, that picture you took on a drunken night out is 'bringing the profession into disrepute'. Are we not entitled to free thought or opinion? No, those opinions don't agree with the party line, off the register you go. Who the hell do these people think they are? Oops, I used a naughty word, that isn't upholding my responsibility to effective communication in an understanding manner, hey I'm now struck off!

    Yes we uphold our code of conduct and professionalism AT WORK, but then when we take the uniform off, we have a private life too. And NOONE, not even the witchfinder generals at the NMC, has the right to dictate what we say, think or do within that private life.

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  • The NMC is lazy and corrupt. Don't forget that it also got ripped apart in a verbal statement in the House of Commons about its culture of institutional bullying.

    I know from experience that many members of the NMC are more political than practical and some cases have been decided on the basis of politics rather than actual facts, and just in case anyone needs anymore indication of the occassional unjustness of their activities did you know that there is no appeal against the findings of a fitness to practice panel except via the High (now Supreme) Court on matters of procedural Law?

    The NMC is living in a glass house, and it has now started throwing stones.

    Lets have a list of every member of the NMC's staff published (you know - just like they do with RN/RMs) and lets see how they conduct themselves on social media.

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  • NMC needs more transparency on its activities, finances and staff.

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  • But surely there are other agencies that scan these chat sites too. Members of the public and former patients for instance, Journalists looking for emerging scandals!!.
    It is not just the much maligned NMC who consider they have a duty of care to report unacceptable revelations about the behaviour of public officials such as nurses.
    Unfortunately people will always be on the lookout to chastise and report people in responsible jobs. Good governance is surely about setting boundaries too. There should be agreement about what is acceptable conduct and which of course must be subject to public scrutiny too. Even if the NMC is replaced, a new body will still have a regulatory role. That has to be accepted or you end up being governed by civil servants via Ministers in the department of health. Or worse still no regulatory powers and very dodgy characters running around and calling themselves 'nurses'. No one will
    allow that to happen!.

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  • I can't believe that so called professionals can get so upset by being asked to be careful and make sure that they do not use social media sites inappropriately.
    I also can't believe that you are all stupid enough not to have realised that these sites are monitored by many different people e.g. potential employers, managers, police, governing bodies, criminals etc. No one is suggesting that you shouldn't have a life out of work but you should also get some common sense and be careful what you coose to share with all and sundry. Considering that there are quite a few nurses that use these sites inappropriately I am sure that our patients are pleased that the NMC are monitoring the sites and disciplining nurses.

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  • The NMC is our governing body.

    If we want to be seen as professionals then that is how we should behave at all times.

    If nurses resort to using these social networking sites and breach professional behaviour, then the NMC has every right to seek out the culprit and take action.

    I dont see it as big brother, I see it as attempting to maintain professional behaviour.

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  • if the internet and facebook are public domains why would anyone wish to put any private information there they do not wish others to access? it doesn't seem to be a problem and if nurses are not behaving in a professional manner then the NMC or any other authority has such as employers have the right to investigate as practicing double standards in a profession one has chosen to represent is not acceptable.

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  • I think that the NMC is right in reminding us how to act when on these websites. My friends see me in a position of responsibility and trust and if I was to blab about patients then the trust would be gone. We had a student here a few years ago who posted this following statement about her mentor on Facebook. She was subsequently dismissed from the college and finished her training 20 miles up the road. See what you think and tell me if it is appropriate behaviour or should what we sometimes say be regulated.

    "I really hate my mentor. I wish she was dead. If I saw her in a car park I would run her over and reverse over her again to make sure she is definitely dead. But as I am not allowed to do that then I hope she catches cancer or AIDS and dies a painful death."

    Is this responsible behaviour or should we have guidelines as the NMC suggest? Discuss

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  • I would have expected registered nurses to be mature and responsible enough not to need to be told how to behave and have these controls.

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  • Just as a warning, I posted an offhand comment about paying my mortgage in the event of a pay freeze on Facebook that was only visible to my friends & then got a journalist contacting me asking for a quote for an article she was writing about NHS pay.
    So journalists do look.

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  • i sometimes wonder about all the comments we post on this and other similar sites too?

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  • "Social networks 'should do more' on cyberstalking
    Social and mobile networks do not do enough to help victims of harassment online, according to a study handed to MPs.
    Cyberstalking can cause real harm, the study found Photo: ALAMY
    1:43PM BST 11 Jul 2011"

    Facebook and Twitter are not obligatory. One can actually live without them!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 3:47 pm and others.

    You really don't get it, do you? It doesn't matter if you act/behave responsibly. The NMC can't be trusted to make that judgement. They have their own interpretation of the very woolly Code of Conduct, and a complete lack of transparency. Are we so programmed to obey that we don't even question and challenge? That is the most worrying aspect of this thread!!!!

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  • well I know who I would rather trust to care for me if I ever needed it and in just in case "...you really don't get it", that would be Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 3:47 pm and others!

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  • .........and who is to say that the NMC aren't monitoring these comments too?

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  • the NMC is providing 'advice' and 'guidance' and as far as I can see, it is good plain commonsense and what every user should be aware of anyway and for which one should be grateful. If this 'guidance' is followed their should be no grounds for concern.

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 8:01 pm

    ".........and who is to say that the NMC aren't monitoring these comments too?"


    And just what is your point? Are you trying to be intimidating??!! Sinister behaviour indeed. Thank you for demonstrating my point so completely!!

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 10:02 pm

    I am referring to all comments in general in all the pages. I have no idea which your own personal comment was to which you are referring in the above post and why this has provoked such an strange and aggressive reaction from you.

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 7:57 pm

    "well I know who I would rather trust to care for me if I ever needed it and in just in case "...you really don't get it", that would be Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 3:47 pm and others! "


    If you mean you would trust the NMC to care for you, then that's hilarious. Please say you don't mean that. The NMC exists to protect the public FROM YOU. It might be worth finding out about the purpose and activities of the NMC before continuing to make such statements.(They have their own website). After all, you hand over your registration dosh to them annually. Or do you? Surely you can't be a nurse and know so little about the organisation which regulates your profession. Oh dear, it just gets worse, doesn't it?

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 10:13 pm

    Eh?

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 10:18 pm

    the NMC is the regulatory body at the moment and until somebody comes up with a better idea nurses have to abide by their rules.
    but this is about an article on Facebook and Twitter for which they have provided suggestions to stay safe. It is hard to understand what all the fuss is about if professionals stick to what are general commonsense online rules which the NMC alone did not make up.

    and some respect for professional etiquette to other commentators online would not go amiss!

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  • The question is whether the rules are lawful, i.e. are not contrary to the laws of the land. If the rules are contrary to legislation then any instruction based on those rules need not be obeyed as the instructions are unlawful.
    Of course we need to keep certain aspects of our work confidential, but that is no different to when I worked in the defence industry and had access to material that was deemed to be so important that it was classified as secret.

    What concerns me is that the NMC (it could equally be the General Teachers Council or the GMC) decide unilaterally that statements that are not illegal (i.e. are not defamatory or libellous in content) placed into the public domain somehow bring the profession into disrepute (the same argument can also apply to the Football Association's attitude towards players and managers criticising referees).

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  • quite a few commentators appear to disagree with the suggestions offered by the NMC. Does this mean that professionally registered nurses believe that they should be free to use Facebook and Twitter in any way they wish even if it involves patients, colleagues and their work?

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 10:30 pm

    And still you don't get it. Ah well. I suppose it is hard some people to understand. Nice one on the patronising "professional etiquette" comment though. By all means let's maintain that, whilst not worrying ourselves about unimportant details like what the NMC actually does!!

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  • Anonymous | 11-Jul-2011 10:59 pm

    "quite a few commentators appear to disagree with the suggestions offered by the NMC. Does this mean that professionally registered nurses believe that they should be free to use Facebook and Twitter in any way they wish even if it involves patients, colleagues and their work?"

    If you read the comments in the history of this thread, you will see that it is quite the opposite. And perhaps it will help you avoid such ill-informed posts.




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  • The NMC is appointed by parliament to oversee regulation of the nursing profession. It is not about personal choice here. The public expect a regulatory body to do it's duty in protecting the public and to advise nurses for the protection of their registration as well.

    Some of the comments in perverse criticism of the NMC strike me as a general difficulty with the role of authority and it's directives in general.
    The article on the social web sites is about advice to nurses who are expected to be accountable for their actions on and off duty. (It was not an order as far as I can see).
    Members of the public, other nurses and the police have a duty under the law to report a nurse who breaks the law. I'm sorry if some of you think we 'just don't get it'. But revelations of an unacceptable nature on social chat sites are perused by the public and it is often they who report concerns about nurses to the NMC.
    If people have difficulty working with codes of conduct perhaps nursing is the wrong profession for them. Perhaps politics would be in keeping with strong critical views of
    a profession that has thus far with stood the test of time. Statutory bodies like the NMC are non politcal, and in all my years of nursing I've never known them to target or witch hunt people. Such allegations are serious and this is not the forum to make them!.

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  • The NMC seems alone in issuing these guidelines as the GMC doesn't appear to have issued a similar set of guidelines for physicians and neither has the General Teaching Council.
    In fact the General Teaching Council goes out of its way to emphasise that it is not there to interfere in teachers' private lives, it also indicates that its code of conduct is compliant with the Human Rights Act neither of which are mentioned by the NMC ( see
    http://www.gtce.org.uk/teachers/thecode/fulltext/intro
    http://www.gtce.org.uk/teachers/thecode/outside_class)

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  • susan | 12-Jul-2011 11:12 am

    "Such allegations are serious and this is not the forum to make them!."


    We still have the right to free speech in this country, and this is absolutely the right place to discuss the NMC and it's role...whatever side of the argument you fall on. What next? Gagging Orders?

    I make sure that I abide by the NMC Code of Conduct. What I and others here do not trust is the NMCs ability to make some of these judgements. There is plenty of evidence to prove that the NMCs rulings are not always appropriate, or indeed legal. (and have been successfully overturned in courts of law). I am all for a regulatory body that effectively regulates the Nursing Profession. Not to have one would be dangerous for our patients and ourselves. But I want one that is transparent and trustworthy. That is not the NMC in its current form. Get something that works, and then our patients will be better protected.

    Lastly, what I do not understand, is why there are those who seem to take the attitude that criticism of the NMC equates to running amock on social networks with the confidential patient details! It is a lazy argument and erroneous. In fact, there are many who are obviously unaware about the role and purpose of the NMC and yet jump blindly to its defence. We are allowed to criticise and challenge those 'in authority'. It is the sign of a healthy society.

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  • susan | 12-Jul-2011 11:12 am

    ".....a profession that has thus far with stood the test of time......"

    Not so much. More accurately Nursing could be described as a profession which has lain down throughout its existence, allowing successive governments to walk all over it, keeping it the lowest paid and most undervalued profession, with the smallest voice. Oh yeah, we're just brilliant, aren't we?
    Disagreeing with the NMC doesn't mean that we shouldn't be Nurses. Your attitude is precisely what has landed us in the above position.

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  • Presumably the public have a say in how care is provided in this country and have a say in the conduct of it's professions too.
    It is precisely because of the lack of robust oversite by an effective regulatory body in the journalist profession that resulted in serious infringements of human rights and a very slack approach to professional conduct. Journalism is now required to rethink it's role in regaining public trust.

    I do not know individual members of the NMC and therefore find it puzzling that so much can be so wrong with it all of a sudden!! I know that they review and ioften overturn their own decisions. They are human beings in an imperfect world .We as nurses have to work with that as best we can. What is certain is that a standard of conduct is not 'laying down under oppressive rules ' but the minimum expected of people who we entrust with our care. I do not want colleagues or nursing staff discussing personal details on an open web site and it would be naive to think that some of us aren't capable of that because we surely are. I have a right to expect that to be kept private and for a professional watchdog to have oversite of possible infringements of the regulations.If
    this is a problem for some staff who use the the social chat sites, then it is a small price to pay for the greater good and protection of the public (who include nurses )

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  • most nursing and other professional organisations around the world have very similar professional codes of conduct, as does the ICN and the EU. those who are not content with these should put forward their proposals to the relevant bodies and see what changes can be brought about.

    Wider society, of which these form a very small part, also has its own written and unwritten ethical codes, rules, regulations, laws and constitution which citizens are expected to adhere to. there has to be a balance of with some degree of control to protect everybody without much intrusion into the private lives of individuals. many citizens, but unfortunately by no means all respect these constraints in return for the many benefits, rights and privileges they enjoy. these rules, regs. and laws are all open to amendment in a democratic society, but without them their would be anarchy, total collapse of the society or organisation and resultant chaos as everybody would wish to do things their own way.

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  • susan | 13-Jul-2011 10:44 am

    You and others keep making the same mistake! You persist in the mindset that those who critcise and disagree methods of the NMC actually don't want a regulatory body!Quite the opposite is true. We want one that is truly effective!

    "Presumably the public have a say in how care is provided in this country and have a say in the conduct of it's professions too."

    Are you really serious? Of course the public DOESN'T have enough say. And yes, the lack of oversight by effective regulatory bodies has contributed to this latest disaster in journalism. So why would you defend an organisation that did precisely NOTHING in response to one of its registrants complaints about the abusive behaviour of registered nurses at Winterbourne Hospital?

    With a regulatory body that was robust and effective, the public would have more say and confidence in our profession, and we nurses would resultantly be better protected.

    We would serve our patients better by sweeping away this outdated, bloated animal, instead of pandering to its every edict without question like sheep.

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  • I guess we would also be needing a definition of 'the reputation of the profession' to have a clue as what we are expected to uphold. And in whose eyes is the definition held?

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  • Margaret Haywood was struck off by the NMC for her whistleblowing of the disgraceful care in a failing NHS hospital. In the NMC guidance included in the above article, it states:

    "Social networking sites should not be used for whistle-blowing or raising concerns – instead follow the NMC’s guidance on raising and escalating concerns."

    Interesting then that the RCN launched a successful campaign to have Margaret's registration reinstated and replaced with a one year caution. Among other online sites including Age Concern, the RCN used Facebook to raise concerns and host their petition.

    Are we to go after all those NMC registered nurses who exercised their right to register protest, just because it goes against NMC guidelines?

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  • It's interesting to see how other professions view what is deemed appropriate behaviour in private lives.
    Take a look on Youtube at 2 doctors called AMATEUR TRANSPLANTS singing Careless Surgeon. They have made DVD's using a similar style of songs. Could you imagine the fallout if 2 nurses singing that? The GMC haven't reacted.

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  • As a member of the public I entrust the nursing profession with some of my intimate details, and have certain expectations of them when I'm sick & vulnerable.
    One 'rogue' nurse who reveals that deliberately or in some cases inadvertently on a very public social chat page will affect the way I think about that profession as a whole.
    People take a lead from nurses and see them as teachers and protectors.Healthcare assistants also take a lead from RN's and view them as an important support and role model.
    Someone should guard these confidences. Any breach sullies us all and does bring a high value profession into disrepute.
    Some of the comments such as 'you just don't get it' insults the intelligence of other
    contributors to the debate. Those of us who feel that a regulatory body safe guards all our human rights(they do make mistakes
    sure) and dignity, 'get it' only too well.
    Bullying and intimidation is a serious problem in nursing and social chat pages used by nurses increases the likely hood of that becoming a bigger issue than it is at the moment.
    The public and other nurses need the assurance of a strong watchdog to represent us
    and our patients ethically and morally. That is my view and the view of quite a few others who have contributed to the discussion. Please don't demean that with unnecessary snide and unpleasant personal comments. Nurses are a diverse group of people and all have opinion about the direction our profession should take and what safe guards should be in place. I think that should be respected.

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