Public protection must be paramount

UNISON, the UK’s largest health union, today backed calls for changes to the revalidation system for nurses and midwives saying “the time is right to sweep away the old, ineffective system”.

However, the union warned that any new proposals need detailed and careful consideration with full public consultation and for the views of nurses and midwives to be heard loud and clear by the NMC.

Gail Adams, UNISON Head of Nursing, went on to say:

“Public protection must be paramount and the existing system is outdated and not for purpose.  Comparisons to the General Medical Council model suggested in the Francis Report look disproportionate and costly. UNISON is concerned that any new revalidation method does not mean extra fees for already hard-pressed nurses.
“The NMC must introduce a system which compliments existing structures, one which works for nurses and midwives and has the ability to be applied in the NHS and in other settings.  The NMC has 680,000 registrants and less than 1% are ever reported to them for fitness to practise proceedings.  We know that the vast majority are good practitioners, so we need a system for the many not for the few.

“We will be consulting widely with our nurses and midwives to help design a revalidation system that works for patients and staff.”