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Read the transcript from today's webchat: 'Whisteblowing: what’s holding nurses back?'


Dickon Weir-Hughes, chief exec and registrar for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, held a webchat today at 1pm. You can read the transcript here


Readers' comments (88)

  • Ooh now this will be an interesting one! The NMC asking what's holding Nurses back? I don't know where to start on that!

    How about asking why the NMC is not doing more to PROTECT Nurses who whistleblow?

    The NMC has a not unjustified reputation for not supporting Nurses, what is the chief execs response on this?

    What is the NMC doing to stamp out the bullying and witch hunting culture within Nursing that is one of the prime reasons that Nurses do not whistleblow?

    Why does the chief exec think there are so many examples of Nurses who have whistleblown, only to be hounded out of their jobs or sacked outright?

    Finally, a little off topic, how does the chief exec justify the extortionate fee the NMC charge for our registration when we get little or nothing back in return? Especially in light of their vast profits?

    Please ask all these questions, do not edit or omit them to give him an easy time.

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  • How about the fact that you lose your job?
    As a Director of Nursing I went to the SHA and the DH about my concerns and was rewarded with a requirement to leave due to the loss of confidence in me from the Chief Exec and I had to sign a compromise agreement so can not discuss it publicly.

    I had no support from the SHA nurse or the CNO. I have since discovered there are many ex Directors of Nursing in this position

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  • Whistleblowing is definitely out of the question when the NMC appears to find it difficult to speak up about any issues affecting nursing as a whole.
    Their 'watching from the sidelines' regime has always been to our detriment.
    It's time for an overhaul.

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  • Exactly Jjjez.

    Here's another question for the chief exec. Why aren't the NMC more vocal in fighting for Nurses as a profession in the recent debacles over GP consortiums, or threats to our jobs, pay, pensions? I know they are not a union, but they are a body that is supposed to represent us.

    I want direct answers from the NMC on these questions, and I want them to try and justify themselves.

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  • Mike
    The NMC is a regulator and negotiating terms and conditions of employment is not part of their remit. Concerns about standards of practice, how these are reported and how nurses and health care assistants are regulated has to be the issue here.
    You are very vocal about not having your voice heard by management and I think this is a real opportunity for us to find out how deal with this barrier. This is a great opportunity to engage in a conversation with our regulator.

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  • Anonymous | 17-Jun-2011 8:00 am I understand that, that is why I said I know they are not our union, but as a body that specifically represents our profession, in the same way the GMC represents Doctors, they should be far more vocal about actually representing us, not just punishing us.

    I agree wholeheartedly that this is a great opportunity to engage in a conversation with our regulator, but that does not mean they should not have to justify themselves to us, the profession they are supposed to represent on a number of issues, nor does it mean they should be able to shy away from the hard questions.

    The NMC is widely derided by a large number of Nurses for a variety of reasons. It is time they answered for that. On the topic of whistleblowing specifically which I agree should be the focus of the conversation despite my other concerns, there are a number of issues they should be pulled on as I and others have demonstrated above.

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  • If a senior nurse successfully blew the whistle about the risks posed by a proposed cut in nursing services and was then immediately victimised and potentially faces redundancy for this and no other reason, what might this nurse expect the NMC to do were it to be told that some of those directly responsible for the decisions leading to her potential redundancy were registered nurses?

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  • michael stone

    I e-mailed the NMC, because I considered that PCTs were writing illegal CPR/VoD protocols (and I still do), and that if a nurse followed such protocols, then the nurse would be acting illegally, and acting illegally breaches the NMC's rules.

    The NMC's response was 'We can only investigate complaints against INDIVIDUAL nurses'.

    All the NMC does, is rule on whether any particular nurse is fit to practice. It does not in practice deal with wider issues.

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  • Exactly Michael, and they need to start to be taken to task on that. They SHOULD be dealing with wider issues, not just dealing with individual fitness to practice hearings, many of which they have earned their unfair, witch hunting reputation from.

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  • Jenni Middleton

    We're pleased that you are all so interested in this topic. We thought it may be a well-received webchat, and we're really excited the NMC is going to do it. One thing I think I have to clarify, though, is that the NMC's job is not to represent nurses (that's the RCN's, Unison's and other unions' job), its job is to protect patients. It is not failing by not standing up for nurses, it only fails when it doesn’t take action to safeguard the public.

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