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NMC 'to be investigated' over Morecambe Bay

20 February, 2017

NMC 'to be investigated' over Morecambe Bay

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for an investigation into the NMC's handling of the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust fitness-to-practise cases.

The regulator joined Mr Hunt in a request to the Professional Standards Agency (PSA) to carry out ‘this important review’.

A letter to Harry Cayton on Friday (17 February) called upon the PSA chief executive to lead on the investigation ‘as soon as possible’.

The NMC announced in November that an ‘independent, lessons-learned review’ would take place following the conclusion of the fitness-to-practise cases this year.

It is thought that the PSA investigation will look at how the regulator has responded to concerns raised about midwives at the trust and the procedures it has followed since.

Jeremy Hunt said in a statement: ‘Given the NMC’s importance in ensuring high standards of care in nursing, health visiting and midwifery, this review will provide the public and the NMC itself with independent assurance that all the lessons from its handling of the events at Morecambe Bay have been learned and acted upon.’

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith added: ‘As an open and transparent organisation, committed to continuous improvement, we welcome the contribution of the PSA in helping us to identify learning from our handling of these cases in order to establish where we could do things differently should a similar situation arise now.

‘We have already identified and implemented a range of important measures designed to make sure we handle cases better in the future. This includes establishing a dedicated witness liaison service to work closely with the families and individuals contributing to the fitness-to-practise process.

‘We cannot change what has already happened; however, we must move forward by identifying how we should do things differently in the future.’

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