The NMC has responded to two reports published by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) today (2 July).
The final report of the strategic review of the NMC and the annual performance review, published today and on 28 June respectively, highlight 'substantial failings' in the NMC's delivery of its regulatory functions and in the management of the organisation.
In a media briefing on 2 July, Harry Cayton, Chief Executive of CHRE, said it had made 14 'relatively high-level' recommendations around the NMC's governance. it also recommended that the organisation needs to reinvest in fitness to practise in particular.
Jackie Smith, acting chief executive and registrar for the NMC, confirmed it has a total fitness to practise case load of 4426. She added that it is currently addressing 15 cases per day in a bid to resolve them as quickly as possible.
She said: 'The strategic review report and annual performance review report together make difficult reading for the NMC. We recognise the failings that CHRE have set out in their reports, and we are sorry.
'It is clear that the NMC has not delivered effective and efficient regulation, and we are committed to putting that right.
'We will use these reports as a catalyst for change at every level of our organisation. The reports rightly challenge us to effectively deliver our regulatory functions, to build appropriate relationships with external stakeholders, and to implement changes in our management and culture that will address our operational weakness,' she added.
The organisation will appoint a new chair and chief executive 'later this summer', following the resignations of former chief executive and registrar Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes in January and of former chair, Professor Tony Hazell, at the end of March.
The RCM has also responded to CHRE's reports, describing the content as 'a wake-up call'. Deputy general secretary Louise Silverton said: 'We agree that the NMC must focus on its core regulatory functions and responsibilities, notably protecting the public and ensuring it maintains its confidence and that of the profession it regulates. This is a key duty in its role as the profession’s regulator for nurses and midwives.
'The RCM looks forward to working with the NMC through this process and through our work on developing advice, standards and guidance for midwives,' she added. 'We need to find a way forward that embraces change.'