Recommendation 227

The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s power to investigate

Accepted in principle
The Nursing and Midwifery Council needs to have its own internal capacity to assess systems and launch its own proactive investigations where it becomes aware of concerns which may give rise to nursing fitness to practise issues. It may decide to seek the cooperation of the Care Quality Commission, but as an independent regulator it must be empowered to act on its own if it considers it necessary in the public interest. This will require resources in terms of appropriately expert staff, data systems and finance. Given the power of the registrar to refer cases without a formal third party complaint, it would not appear that a change of regulation is necessary, but this should be reviewed.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council are taking a different approach to achieving this recommendation.  The Nursing and Midwifery Council is committed to working closely with the Care Quality Commission and with other regulators to ensure that the most serious matters are appropriately addressed in a systematic manner.

Update

See response to 226. The Nursing and Midwifery Council uses its powers to open cases if there is public interest in doing so. Where it has a statutory role in systems – through education and midwifery supervision – the Nursing and Midwifery Council takes joint action with the Care Quality Commission when that is the most effective way of protecting the public.