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Nursing watchdog to miss target to cut soaring complaints backlog

The nursing watchdog will miss its target to tackle a 5,500-case backlog of complaints as referrals hit a record high.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council NMC has admitted it won’t hit its pledge to cut the number of unresolved complaints against nurses and midwives to 4,000 by March 2024.

The news comes as it faces questions over the way it handles complaints after The Independent revealed a number of serious allegations, including poor investigations that have led to fears of rouge nursing going unchecked. The newspaper exposes have prompted two independent reviews.

Details of the first two reviews have been revealed for the first time and will look at:

  • The NMC’s response to whistleblower concerns, including whether they were treated fairly and whether it acted fairly and reasonably.
  • Any evidence of cultural issues which may have impacted the NMC’s response to whistleblowing.
  • Whether concerns raised are substantiated and indicate a decision-making process by the NMC which is insufficient in protecting the public.
  • Evidence of shortcomings in guidance and training.

The senior whistleblower whose evidence prompted the review said: “The NMC has refused to change its approach to the investigations into my whistleblowing concerns to allow me to share and explain my evidence without fear of reprisal. I don’t think it is possible to draw safe conclusions about either how I have been treated or the impact of our culture on case work from reviewing only 13 of our current 5,500 open cases, and 6 closed cases and a selection of my emails.”

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Source: The Independent, 16 November 2023


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