Nurse regulator condemned over toxic culture

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Health

There is shocking bullying, racism and incompetence in the organisation responsible for ensuring NHS nurses and midwives in the UK are safe to have around patients, a damning report says.The independent review warns of a dangerously toxic culture within the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which oversees and regulates hundreds of thousands of nurses and midwives. Good nurses find themselves investigated for years over minor issues, while some bad ones escape sanction, it says. Meanwhile, some NMC staff feel stressed, frustrated and unsupported. The NMC said it was “profoundly sorry” and fully accepted the recommendations for urgent change. It had commissioned former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal and Rise Associates to independently look at its culture, after a whistleblower alleged it was failing to tackle serious sexual, physical and racial abuse.Everything the whistleblower documented was corroborated and many of the more than 1,000 current and former NMC colleagues the review heard from – along with over 200 panel members who sit on fitness-to-practise hearings – had had similar experiences in recent years.The review found dysfunction across “virtually every level” of the NMC.It heard of staff on antidepressants, with their hair falling out and unable to sleep because of bullying and bad management. Many were content – but far too many were struggling, its report says.”They were angry, frustrated and exhausted,” it says.”We saw staff break down in tears as they recounted their frustrations over safeguarding decisions that put the public at risk.”The organisation has a massive backlog, with nearly 6,000 fitness-to-practise cases yet to review, meaning some nurses, patients and families wait years for a decision. And in the past year, six nurses have killed themselves while under investigation by the NMC.The review also highlights cases that were “dropped” because alleged incidents occurred outside of the workplace, with one NMC lawyer telling the review team: “Racism cases are dropped in screening because it’s outside of the workplace and the view is, and I’m obviously paraphrasing, that ‘people are free …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnThere is shocking bullying, racism and incompetence in the organisation responsible for ensuring NHS nurses and midwives in the UK are safe to have around patients, a damning report says.The independent review warns of a dangerously toxic culture within the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which oversees and regulates hundreds of thousands of nurses and midwives. Good nurses find themselves investigated for years over minor issues, while some bad ones escape sanction, it says. Meanwhile, some NMC staff feel stressed, frustrated and unsupported. The NMC said it was “profoundly sorry” and fully accepted the recommendations for urgent change. It had commissioned former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal and Rise Associates to independently look at its culture, after a whistleblower alleged it was failing to tackle serious sexual, physical and racial abuse.Everything the whistleblower documented was corroborated and many of the more than 1,000 current and former NMC colleagues the review heard from – along with over 200 panel members who sit on fitness-to-practise hearings – had had similar experiences in recent years.The review found dysfunction across “virtually every level” of the NMC.It heard of staff on antidepressants, with their hair falling out and unable to sleep because of bullying and bad management. Many were content – but far too many were struggling, its report says.”They were angry, frustrated and exhausted,” it says.”We saw staff break down in tears as they recounted their frustrations over safeguarding decisions that put the public at risk.”The organisation has a massive backlog, with nearly 6,000 fitness-to-practise cases yet to review, meaning some nurses, patients and families wait years for a decision. And in the past year, six nurses have killed themselves while under investigation by the NMC.The review also highlights cases that were “dropped” because alleged incidents occurred outside of the workplace, with one NMC lawyer telling the review team: “Racism cases are dropped in screening because it’s outside of the workplace and the view is, and I’m obviously paraphrasing, that ‘people are free …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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