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NMC overspent £2.7m legal fees


An unexpected rise in fitness to practise referrals has caused the Nursing and Midwifery Council to overspend its budget for legal fees with six months of the financial year still to go.

The regulator has so far spent £2.7m over its fitness to practise budget of £23.5m. It has warned that the case volumes it was seeing “represent a significant financial risk” to its finances – the NMC has a total annual budget of £56m.

The NMC has received 622 cases since 1 April but had only budgeted for 320, new figures show.

A paper presented to the regulator’s formal council meeting on Thursday said: “The increase in volumes is believed to be due to the NMC’s higher media profile, and a more pro-active approach, with the NMC opening a number of cases itself instead of waiting for an external referral.”

The regulator has reported a near-tripling of referrals over the past seven years. In the financial year 2003-04 there were 1,461 referrals, compared to 4,211 in 2010-11.

This month a new team of 10 “paralegals” started work in the fitness to practice department to help improve the situation. Paralegals are not qualified solicitors but have the education and training to perform many of the same legal tasks.

The NMC said they would tackle “straightforward investigations in-house and ensure the cases we send to our external law firms for investigation are bringing us the maximum value for money”.









Readers' comments (4)

  • Well if they need more money maybe they can start asking the general public to start paying their fees then instead of us, since it seems it is they who the NMC are there to service, support and protect?

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  • How much more evidence do we need that the NMC is not fit for purpose. They are a complete joke what are they spending our subs on? I really think the time has come for the NMC to be wound-up and have one regulatory body for all PAMs as this lot couldn't organise a ........!

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  • This NT report is not accurate in stating "The NMC has received 622 cases since 1 April but had only budgeted for 320, new figures show."

    From the NMC papers, these numbers relate to the number of cases referred for legal investigation - an increase in 94% since last year.

    The figures for numbers of complaints/referrals/cases received by the NMC are elsewhere in the same papers.

    They show that in 2010 (January - July) 2338 new cases were received. in the same period in 2011 this had increased to 2599 - by just 11%.

    So an 11% increase in numbers of complaints received but a 94% increase in the numbers referred for legal investigation.

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  • Many of the cases currently being processed feature 'crimes' that occurred years ago!!

    Did the NMC not know they were coming up?
    Did they not keep their knowledge up to date?
    Did they fail to keep accurate documentation and accounts?
    Have they read ''The Code?''

    Are they fit to practice?

    Hold them to account!!!

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