RCM comment on changes to Nursing and Midwifery Council governing legislation
The Government has published its response to the consultation on ‘Changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council governing legislation’. Among the changes that will happen are the removal of a statutory requirement for a NMC Midwifery Committee, and the removal of midwifery supervision. There are also changes to some of the fitness-to-practise processes.
Commenting on the outcome of the consultation, Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said; “We recognise that the intention behind these changes is to ensure more streamlined, efficient and quicker processes around fitness to practice. We support a focus on regulation that provides assurance for the public and provides professionals with a fair and transparent process.
“Midwifery supervision will be removed from the remit of the NMC, and its regulatory aspects will go, but the RCM has worked hard to ensure that it continues in some form. All four UK countries recognise the importance of this and are keeping this role. What we need to see now are robust plans from each of the UK countries outlining the way forward for midwifery supervision. We are working closely with each of the UK Governments on these plans, and we will be monitoring implementation to ensure that professional support, development and restitution remain a part of delivering safe maternity services.
“Some of the outcomes are a disappointment for the RCM and I am sure for our members. The loss of the NMC Midwifery Committee is something we campaigned against. Its loss is a blow given that 91% of midwives responding to the consultation were against removal. However, the NMC has given assurances that midwifery will continue to have a significant voice. I look to the Government and the NMC to come through on their promises in this area. We will be working with them to determine what form this will take and to ensure that the midwifery voice continues to have a strong presence within the NMC
“The fact that the NMC will be able to issue warnings against a registrant in a fitness to practice case even when there has been found to be no case to answer is a huge concern. What is important now is that when this happens the registrant is supported by their employer to resolve the issue, and additional training, if needed, is provided.
“What we all want out of this is an effective and efficient regulator that protects the public. What is important now is that we all come together to make the new system operate effectively for the benefit of the public and for midwives. The RCM will be working hard to ensure that this happens.”
The Government response to the ‘Changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council governing legislation’ consultation can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-nursing-and-midwifery-council-governing-legislation.
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Notes to editors
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.