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Nursing and Midwifery Council: Disclosure of Information

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what procedures exist for members of the Nursing and Midwifery Council to raise issues of concern (a) internally, (b) externally and (c) with his Department; what guidance his Department provides on these procedures; under what circumstances his Department intervenes in such proceedings; and if he will make a statement. (191964)

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is an independent regulatory body and as such is responsible for its own internal management practices.

Council members may raise any issue of concern with individuals or bodies they feel might be able to assist, providing they comply with any requirement of confidentiality and codes of conduct of the NMC or the Charity Commission that might apply.

While the Department remains open for discussion with NMC Council members at all times, the Department does not have any specific powers in relation to complaints raised about the NMC or formal procedures for Council members to raise issues of concern.

The Department provides no guidance to Council members on complaints procedures. It is a matter for the NMC, as an independent statutory body, to inform Council members of its own procedures.

The Secretary of State has no powers to intervene in the internal management of the NMC. However, we have asked the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence to consider expediting its annual performance review, including addressing the central question of whether the NMC is fulfilling its statutory functions.