Nurses to be struck off register if they don't report poor care or cover up mistakes

31 March 2015

Nurses to be struck off register if they don't report poor care or cover up mistakes

Nurses to be struck off register if they don't report poor care or cover up mistakes

Under new rules unveiled by the profession’s governing body, nurses could be struck off if they fail to escalate concerns about poor care or hide the truth about mistakes.

Revised rules published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in its updated code of practice have placed the onus on nurses and midwives to flag compromised levels of patient safety. They will be expected to “raise and, if necessary, escalate any concerns” about public safety.

“Be open and candid with all service users about all aspects of care and treatment, including when any mistakes or harm have taken place,” the new code says.

“Act immediately to put right the situation if someone has suffered actual harm for any reason or an incident has happened which had the potential for harm.

“Explain fully and promptly what has happened, including the likely effects, and apologise to the person affected and, where appropriate, their advocate, family or carers.”

Nurses who break their profession’s code of practice risk being struck off and banned from practising.

“The Code is fundamental to protecting the public. It sets out what patients want from nurses and midwives, and puts public expectations at the centre of professional practice,” Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said.

We last changed the Code seven years ago. Since then, the way that care is delivered has changed; public expectations have changed; and key reports like the Francis Inquiry have permanently altered the healthcare landscape. The revised Code reflects modern needs.” has received numerous enquiries from members of the public who long felt there was sometimes a culture at hospitals where poor patient care was being built up, compromising the care and safety of their loved ones. Sometimes these cases became grounds for a serious complaint to the NMC or even resulted in a medical negligence claim.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is the independent regulator of the nursing and midwifery professions and sets standards for all nurses working in the NHS and beyond.

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