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NMC speeding up use of interim orders

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council has significantly increased the rate at which restrictions on practice are issued to nurses being investigated by the regulator.

Data reported to the NMC Council today at its latest meeting shows it has speeded up the rate at which it imposes interim orders on nurses under investigation.

Interim orders prevent a nurse or midwife from practising or places restrictions on their practice whilst an NMC investigation is ongoing.

Such orders are not an indicator of guilt and are only imposed in those cases where a risk to the public or a risk to the registrants own safety is identified.

They were being imposed within 28 days in 94% of cases during June 2013, significantly beating the NMC’s key performance indicator of 80%.

As a result, the regulator has now been meeting the indicator for two months in a row. The percentage of interim orders imposed within 28 days was 86% in May, up 6.5% from April when it failed to meet the target.

NMC director of fitness to practise Sarah Page said: “Imposing interim orders is one of the ways that we demonstrate that we are effective in protecting the public.

“This key improvement within our fitness to practise directorate is a credit to our staff and shows that we are on the right track to becoming an efficient and effective regulator.”

The regulator has six key performance indicators, which also cover registration applications, investigations, adjudications, available free reserves, and staff turnover.

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  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • This article is so misleading. It doesn't actually tell you how many interim orders there are, just that the NMC is meeting targets. If a nurse is unsafe and a risk to patients at least someone is doing something quickly

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  • In this day and age of flow charts, algorithms and cut and paste statements, making a non-prejudicial judgement within 28 days really shouldn't be something to be congratulated upon. It does however speak volumes for the NMCs previously abysmal performance that puts this figure into a positive light.

    Also percentages mean little without figures. Is that 94% representative of all cases, or just those cases where an interim suspension is likely?

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