NMC to develop practical guidelines for professionals on whistle-blowing

June 8, 2009 at 10:57 am 1 comment

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: , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ray Toofanny  |  October 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I am in the Luton community service as a District Charge Nurse. I have done 35 years of service during which time I have never been trained to perform female catheterisation nor have I identified any need to implement this practice, especially with a ratio of 1 to 20 female dominated profession. I joined nursing in 1975 and female catheterisation was not part of the care male nurses were expected to trained to perform this task. I was comfortable with that as my religeon and cultural background, as a hindu, does not encourage me to perform such an intrusive practice.
    I joined District nursing in 1981and again I was given verbal contract not be involved in female catheterisation. Now, after 35 years I am being asked to get involved in such practice which I feel very uncomforatable with as most patients in the community are against male nurses performing female catheterisation. There is also my fear of litigation, dignity of care and respect to females who during my carrer have refused me to perform similar task as dressing to breast area and to vulva area. Please avise where do i stand legally and professionally.

    Many thanks


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