Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

NMC to highlight complaints handling in updated code of conduct


A duty on nurses and midwives to handle patient complaints and raise concerns will be highlighted in a planned revision of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s code of conduct.

An independent report on the way the NHS handles complaints was published on Monday. Making a raft of recommendations, the report called for a “revolution” in the way in which the NHS handles complaints.

It is the result of a review chaired by Ann Clwyd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley, and Professor Tricia Hart, chief executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a former nurse.

In their report, they secured undertakings from 12 key health organisations, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council, to ensure that action will be taken within the next year.

They noted that the NMC’s code and education standards already include “clear duties” on nurses and midwives in relation to complaints handling, communication with patients and raising concerns.

However, the regulator has agreed to ensure these duties are highlighted in a revised version of the code, which will form the benchmark for appraisals and revalidation, and is due to be published by December 2014.

The NMC has said it will also take “more immediate steps” to raise awareness of these duties and their guidance on raising concerns among nurses, midwives and the public.

In addition, it said it would “improve the experience of patients and other complainants” who become involved in fitness to practise proceedings by providing more information and support. The NMC plans to have these new arrangements in place by April.

Lastly, the council said it would work more closely with other regulators to share data and intelligence including complaints information and patient feedback to better protect the public.

NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said: “We have pledged, as part of our planned revision of the code, to ensure that complaints handling continues to be an integral part of the practice of nursing and midwifery.”

She added: “In addition, we have recently re-launched our Raising Concerns guidance for nurses and midwives. We have sent hard copies of the updated guidance to all directors of nursing and heads of midwifery within the UK.”


Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.



Readers' comments (3)

  • Again with the 'It is you duty to......' and f*** all about how a safe and protected environment and culture. This bullying organisation has no credibility.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Now we need the NMC to strengthen the protection given to those registrants who raise concerns and then hold managers and organisations who victimise such staff to account.

    Otherwise staff will think twice about doing the right thing if it may cost them their livelihood.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • ...’called for a “revolution” in the way in which the NHS handles complaints’.

    What about respecting Whistle Blowers who risk everything to highlight problems and end up being destroyed in the process?

    The NHS and the NMC needs to get it's house in order > the NHS needs to exonerate all the past Whistle Blowers that have been chewed up and spat out by this corrupt system and show that they really do care about such brave people.
    I am a Whistle Blower – so I own to having a vested interest in all this.
    When I contacted the NMC and asked for help, they did not help at all and sided with the big Health Authority instead > after all why should they have listened to me? Surely the big health authority had nothing to hide….. ? (yes they did actually)
    I am a Whistle Blower – so I own to having a vested interest in all this.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.