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Liaison officers may work with nursing directors under plans


The Nursing and Midwifery Council is scoping out plans to attach liaison officers to trust directors of nursing in a bid to cut unnecessary referrals.

NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said the proposal formed part of the nursing regulator’s response to the Francis report into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, which was published in February.

The regulator’s 2011-12 annual report noted that the NMC had experienced an “unprecedented” 48% increase in concerns raised with it about nurses and midwives since 2009-10.

Speaking at a press conference last week, Ms Smith said: “One of the better models of delivering fitness to practise is for employer liaison officers to work alongside nurse directors to identify appropriate referrals so we get referrals to us that we should get and try and stop the ones that we shouldn’t.

“That’s a model we are speccing at the moment,” she added. “This is in the early stages of our thinking but we think this would actually help improve the sort of stuff we should get and the sort of stuff we shouldn’t.”


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Readers' comments (5)

  • I would like to know how many 'inappropriate' and malicious referrals are made to the NMC, how much they cost to investigate and the outcome of such referrals - I am paying for this service so please publish these details.

    Maybe one way to stop 'inappropriate' or malicious referrals would be to charge a fee for a referral, or impose a sanction or fine for those which are obviously malicious.

    I don't think nurses understand why the public/govt. don't pay for the NMC, it's there to protect the public yet it's the nurses who pay for it.

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  • The employers who do not fully investigate charges made against a member of staff, But go ahead and report them to the NMC should me made to pay for the cost occured by the NMC in having to investigate the charges properly to get to the route of the truth. And Believe me they are acting on behalf of patient safety, BUT are no fools and can spot a bully a mile off. They should also have to pay the costs occured by the RCN, as they are astronomical. And again this is payed out of nurses contributions. Also when a miscarriage of justice is found then the NMC should have the powers through their legal services to get compensation for the nurse who has gone through this ordeal, and who's career is now in tatters.I also think the bully's conduct should be investigated, as this totally inappropriate behaviour for a prafessional person and if they can do this to one of there collegues then what are they capable of putting vulnerable patients through?

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  • we are paying for the NMC twice, through our taxes with the govt contribution and through our fees.
    Please can they publish exactly how much it costs to keep an individual member on the register - why won't they publish these details, I thought we were all supposed to be honest, open and transparent.
    I would also like to know how many staff nurses have reported their managers for not ensuring safe staffing levels etc. etc. and how many nurse managers are referred and for what reasons.

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  • Re: All those who feel that some referrals are malicious

    I wonder how common it is for someone to claim they are being bullied when an NMC referral has been made about them, and therefore assumed by to be malicious ?

    My experience of making a referral about a serious concern to the NMC (and a court of law agreed with me) was that the person involved claimed they were being bullied.

    I am quietly horrified to read that there are nurses out there who feel that some referrals are purely malicious – so it seems like a good idea to have someone from the NMC can advise Nurse Directors and anyone else with a concern. This would surely sort out any referrals that are unfounded or inappropriate.

    Please let’s not place any more barriers in the way of people with genuine concerns who need to tell someone and who have already been ignored by their Line Manager and Nurse Director or any Health Board out there who wishes to ‘bury’ their problem(s).

    Personally, it took me a lot of reflection and sleepless nights before I sent my referral off – I was very concerned about the worry and anxiety it would cause to all concerned, but as we all know, patient safety comes first.

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  • David Dickinson

    Having practiced as a nurse specialist for 37 years with positive testimonies from a former university rofessor colleage and NHS a practicing NHS service director and clinical psychologist I am currently the subject of an NMC FTP investigation. Needless to say I utterly refute the matters brought by my former rogue NHS employer following my complaints about various patient abuses. However it is the NMC's contribution which causes me particular concern. Their solicitor has returned and embellished original prosecution details immediately accounted for and dropped and have created a whole new charge suggesting that the use of my home computer to write a statement of complaint about directly observed patient abuses (which resulted in two internal inquiries and the written thanks of the Trust CEO) constitutes a "breach of patient confidentiality".
    Moreover the NMC solicitors’ written case spliced two key documents back-to-back making the presentation incomprehensible. Nevertheless the hearing convened to decide whether to pass it on to the Practice and Conduct committee did so without a second thought and failed to note this gross error. Therefore the panel clearly didn’t read its own material. If the NMC are not reading its own material then what chance of it reading the registrants?
    Moreover, the NMCs solicitor maintained one of the four charges in its original form, i.e. allegedly accessing 13 patient files inappropriately although easily refuted at the time and finally considering only one, not as “inappropriate accessing” but accessing for too long. This re-presentation of erroneous material was despite the facts being very clear within “disciplinary” hearing transcripts contained within his bundle. A second NMC solicitor, following my complaint, like the trust before it reduced the 13 to 4, immediately accounted for at dismissal prior to the consideration of merely 1 as being of excessive length.
    Either the solicitor was misled by the trust, in which case he should be sharing his serious concern with the NMC or the NMC should be expressing its serious concern towards (both) its solicitor who failed to understand what had occurred despite full documentation. This matter has been going on now for 15 months and practice conditions make it impossible for me to move on or risk complaining about observed malpractice due to the risk of malicious counter allegation, eg of bullying.
    I have taken out a formal complaint against the NMC although its managers seems equally perplexed at this as well.

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