NMC to develop practical guidelines for professionals on whistle-blowing
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has started work to improve its advice and information on whistle-blowing for nurses and midwives. Representatives from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), UNISON, Unite/CPHVA and Public Concern at Work, met with the NMC last week to discuss how anxieties about future career prospects, upsetting workmates and management and breaching their Code of professional conduct, can sometimes discourage nurses and midwives from reporting concerns.
Clearer signposts to existing advice and information on whistle-blowing were strongly recommended along with the need to raise awareness amongst nurses, midwives and their employers about existing safeguards for whistleblowers and the responsibilities of employers contained within the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
Commenting on the meeting, Christina McKenzie, NMC Head of Midwifery, said “We are grateful to our colleagues for this first opportunity to exchange information experience and expertise on this topic. As a result of this meeting, we will develop information for nurses and midwives setting out the options for escalating concerns appropriately, in a way that is safe for patients and the public, and in a way that will not bring them into conflict with their Code.”
There was also consensus about the need to involve other stakeholders including patient’s groups and employers of nurses and midwives across the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors. Christina added “We are addressing the matter with urgency but we are mindful of the need for proper, considered engagement with key stakeholders. Regulatory activity in this area will require responsible action by all the partners and this will need to be explored in depth in order to achieve all our goals.”
Entry filed under: England, Maternity Services, Northern Ireland, Parliamentary update, Pregnancy and birth, Scotland, Wales. Tags: code of conduct, Midwife, Midwives, NCT, NMC, RCM, whistle-blower, whistle-blowing.