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Revalidation risks 'must be assessed before decision to launch'

  • 17 Comments

Members of the UK nursing regulator’s council have highlighted a number of risks that could arise from revalidation and have called for an assessment of their potential impact.

At a Nursing and Midwifery Council meeting yesterday, it was noted that the new system of checks could lead some registrants to decide not to continue their registration, resulting in a loss of fees for the regulator.

“A 6% failure rate multiplied across the register would be 40,000 people not able to revalidate which is a fairly awful thought”

Louise Scull

Examples cited included registrants in non-clinical roles, those close to retiring, or UK nurses working overseas who may decide not to revalidate if they believe it is too difficult for them to go through the process.

 

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The knock-on effect of this would be a reduction in income for the NMC, which would need to be planned for, noted an observer – Donna O’Boyle, professional regulatory adviser at the Scottish Government – who was attending the meeting.

Another issue identified was the additional strain on the regulator’s resources in providing help to registrants as they revalidate for the first time.

One council member noted that during the revalidation pilot, around 400 phonecalls were made to the NMC from the 800 nurses and midwives trialling the system at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

“We need to make sure we keep nurses and midwives on the register”

Jackie Smith

Louise Scull, who raised the issue, said that if a similar proportion of registrants required help as the new system is rolled out across the 680,000 people currently on the NMC register, this could lead to around 300,000 phonecalls being made to the regulator.

Ms Scull also pointed out that while the pilots saw 94% of participants successfully complete revalidation, if this were applied to the entire register this would mean tens of thousands dropping off.

“We talk in the pilot about 94% success rate, which sounds great. But a 6% failure rate multiplied across the register would be 40,000 people not able to revalidate which is a fairly awful thought,” she said.

An assessment of the risks of revalidation and what plans are in place to deal with them would be required before a final council decision is taken on whether to go ahead with the proposed launch date, said Ms Scull.

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith told the council that a full risk assessment would take place ahead of October, when members will make the final decision on whether to introduce the new system from April 2016.

“The evaluation of the pilots [for nurse revalidation] tells us this is something registrants can do”

Jackie Smith

“We need to make sure we keep nurses and midwives on the register,” she said, adding: “This is not about rooting out people, it’s about keeping people on the register positively demonstrating that they meet the standards and are being professional.”

Ms Smith also said that practical examples and case studies from the pilots would be distributed to assure registrants in all circumstances that it is possible for them to revalidate.

She added that the NMC had reviewed the financial impact on the regulator if some nurses and midwives were to drop off the register.

However, she later told Nursing Times she was unable to say how much income loss the NMC had forecast for.

Ms Smith pointed out that before the General Medical Council introduced its own system of revalidation for doctors in 2012 it expected some to leave the register, but that in reality this “never materialised”.

“The evaluation of the pilots [for nurse revalidation] tells us this is something registrants can do,” she said.

  • 17 Comments

Readers' comments (17)

  • Would the NMC care to divulge why the 6% in the pilot failed?

    If it is 'something registrants can do' is it in danger of becoming a 'tick box' exercise?

    Surly the point of revalidation is to make sure that we are all safe practitioners therefore the point is to weed out those who aren't ?

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  • This is most certainly a 'tick in the box' exercise.
    There are multiples of thousands of nurses who are superb at their job. Its the very few that let the site down. This will inevitebly always be the case. People become complacent. A paper work exercise will not determine how 'good or bad' the nurse is.
    Its down to the individual to recognise their own limitations.... Its in The Code!
    Anyone can fill in a bit of paper.....!

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  • NMC going to lose close to half a million quid a year if 40,000 nurses decide not to revalidate....watch this space

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  • I think now it is time to replace the NMC with the HCPC

    Time and again it is let nurses and Midwives down

    It needs revalidation itself

    Please colleagues think about campaigning to replace the NMC with the HCPC

    The NMC is not Nursing - We are

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  • Interesting that the NMC are concerned about their loss of revenue, what about the NHS losing 40, 000 nurses because 6% fail? I for one could have retired 3 years ago at 55 but decided to stay until I'm 60 or perhaps 62 due to the government's great pension robbery but if have to jump through all these ridiculous bureaucratic hoops I will not renew my registration I will just pack it all in and retire. If others follow my lead the NHS will be even shorter of staff. I am not prepared for my work life balance to be tipped towards work any further, enough is enough.

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  • Anonymous 7.55pm
    Couldn't have put it better myself, well said!

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  • I am debating whether or not to bother revalidating ,many of my colleagues are close to retirement and have already decided not to bother but instead to down grade themselves - less stress ,responsibility and hassel for not that much less money. Maybe if the pay packet was bigger it might be worth it but as it stands at the moment especially with the proposed minimum wage rise, it just does't seem worth it.

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  • Whether or not to revalidate is a common topic at work. A lot of nurses that I work with are close to retirement age and are thinking of not revalidating. The NHS is struggling as it is. The hospital I work at is struggling to retain it's nurses, topping up with agency or overtime. Why are the NMC trying to make it even tougher for us? Don't we have enough to put up with with pay and conditions etc etc? All I want to do is nurse.

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  • so that is why the nmc want revalidation, so the people in charge there more money for themselves

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  • smith says we need to keep nurses on the register - yeah right

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