The NMC's annual report and accounts and fitness-to-practise report have been presented to parliament.
Posted: 1 October 2012 by Helen Bird
The NMC has confirmed that its annual report and accounts and annual fitness-to-practise report 2011-12 have been presented to parliament.
Acting chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said: 'The past year has been one of challenge for the NMC, clearly highlighted by the strategic review carried out by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE).
'We have accepted all CHRE’s recommendations and are making progress in implementing them and embedding the necessary change.
'Like other healthcare regulators, we have seen a significant increase in fitness-to-practise referrals, with 4407 received in 2011-12 alone. This presents considerable challenges, not least in ensuring we have resources to sustain the level of fitness-to-practise activity necessary to protect the public.
Ms Smith confirmed that fitness-to-practise accounted for 67% of NMC spending in 2011-12. 'We implemented changes to our processes and rules to enable us to start meeting our key performance indicators and continued to work hard on reducing the number of historic cases we have,' she said.
'Ensuring nurses and midwives are fit to practise is crucial to patient safety and in 2012-13 we will continue to focus our efforts on this important public protection work.'
In addition to fitness-to-practise, the NMC safeguards patients through holding a register of all those who are eligible to work as nurses and midwives in the UK, and setting standards for practice and education, Ms Smith added.
'Last year, we approved the first new degree-level pre-registration nursing education courses and led the way in Europe as the only nursing and midwifery regulator to have introduced a sustainable system of aptitude testing for nurses, under the European professional qualifications directive to support their registration applications,' she said.
'The NMC is working hard to become a more economic, efficient and effective regulator and our plans for the coming year and our key achievements in 2011-12 illustrate that the NMC and its people are fully committed to achieving this.
'Our clear focus now is on delivering our fundamental duty – protecting the public.'