When health is the topic of discussion, the first thing that pops up in our minds is usually doctors. While doctors are the engine to the health sector, nurses and midwives are the complementary parts that keep the engines running. Sometimes, these people don’t get enough credit, but they are no less than the heroes that work in the dark.
With that said, as goes for any profession, there can be unethical practices that need monitoring and regulation. The nature of medical services is such that the professional and ethical boundaries can easily be annihilated. It is for this reason that organisations like GDC, NMC, and GMC are formulated so that the practices are always in-check and any malpractice is efficiently addressed.
This article shall discuss the Nursing and Midwifery Council – NMC.
NMC acts as the regulator for the nurses and midwives across the United Kingdom. The organisation ensures that nursing and midwifery is safe to practice. It does that by regulating the field. NMC does this via three steps. Firstly, it makes sure that all the nurses and midwives receive a top-quality education and always follow the highest standards of practice.
Secondly, NMC keeps the records of all the practising professionals. And third, it ensures that all the practices are carried out under ethical and professional boundaries. NMC is responsible for investigating any concerns that are raised against nurses and midwives.
Usually, the cases of malpractice or unethical measures are pretty less because the professionals know their procedures and hardly fail to follow them. However, the concerns raised by the patients are taken very seriously and are investigated to the maximum efficiency.
The compliment to regulation is supported. NMC provides the best support to the professionals and the public. Firstly, NMC establishes support for the professionals throughout their careers. The professionals are reiterated with the standards again and again so that they can always deliver results according to the best practices.
Second, it provides support to the public, and if there’s an investigation, then the relevant person or people are addressed appropriately.
By regulating and supporting the health space, NMC has a major influence on health and social care.
Now that we know about NMC and its role, let’s see how the organisation deals with investigations.
NMC investigates any concerns raised by the public or patients against nurses and midwives. It has a strict code of conduct laid out, and anyone that fails to sit right with it can be investigated. The penalties can vary from a warning letter to termination, depending upon the severity of the concern.
However, not all sorts of concerns or allegations are resolved by the NMC. Down below, we shall see the instances which fall under the domain of NMC:
Basically, whenever a professional goes against the code of conduct, they become eligible for an investigation by the NMC. Hope the above-provided information clears your concerns about What is NMC investigation?
When a professional is under investigation, they shouldn’t do anything unless guided by the NMC. This means that they are eligible to continue to serve unless an interim suspension order is issued against them.
Usually, investigations don’t mean that the professional has been proven guilty. It just means that NMC needs time to thoroughly look at the case before they can hand out a decision. Many of those under investigation can get away with just a warning letter or consulting with their heads. In a few cases, they may even be stopped from serving, but that’s rare.
So nurses or midwives under investigation can work until they are ordered otherwise.
Even though nursing and midwifery are noble professions, malpractices can occur. This can lead to loss of health and cause serious damage to the public. Unregulated space just means that the health industry must solely rely on the conscience of the professionals, which is a highly risky bet. That’s the reason there are organisations like NMC, which are formed to regulate the health space.
NMC takes the complaints very seriously and isn’t nonchalant about them. Even the simpler concerns are addressed appropriately.
Whenever a concern or complaint is received, the NMC first checks whether the professional is on their register or not.
This is usually done by the screening team. Other than cross-checking the professional’s registration with the NMC, the team also looks at other things. It sees whether the allegations made are legitimate and if there’s any evidence to back it up. Also, they see if the professional took any steps to remedy the concerns.
If the screening team decides to dismiss the case right away, then NMC won’t proceed with it further.
Next, the NMC sees if the nurse or midwife is a threat to patients or the public. Or if they did something so serious that they can’t be allowed on the field any longer.
The investigations can take up to a year to reach a conclusion. The process is really thorough, and relevant steps are taken to ensure that the results are as fair as possible.
Here’s how NMC proceeds whenever a concern is raised:
Once all that is done, the investigator makes a report based on the evidence gathered. Then, looking at the file, the NMC decides whether the case needs to proceed or be dismissed. If it progresses further, then the nurse or midwife under investigation has the legal right to comment on the findings in 28 days. The next step is then taken according to the comments made by the professional.
Dealing with the NMC investigation can be mentally challenging. The wisest move would be to discuss the issue with your head or supervisor. They may be able to set the right trajectory of guidance for you.
Usually, nurses and midwives know the right protocols and never risk sabotaging them. In case someone does and comes under an investigation, then they should consider getting any support that they can get.
The best way to avoid NMC investigations is to always be aware of the professional and ethical boundaries. It is understandable that the boundaries can become bleak when it comes to health matters. Yet, the best practice is to always be aware of and respect the code of conduct.
Many professionals have been in the field for decades, and they may have the need to brush up on their ethical concepts. In that case, the best practice would be to sign up for probity and ethics courses. This can help professionals revisit key ethical concepts and allow them to avoid NMC investigations.
Those considering the courses can visit our website and get themselves enrolled in the courses appropriate for them.
Nursing as a profession is what’s keeping the healthcare system up and running fine. While the cases of malpractice and misconduct are very few, NMC ensures that even those are dealt with efficiently. This keeps the space refined, and only the best professionals make the cut.
If you are a healthcare institution or a hospital and want your professionals to brush up their knowledge of ethics and professional boundaries, then you may get courses for groups as well.