Patients Asked To Be Involved In New Nursing Code

Patients Are Being Asked To Share Their Opinions On How Nursing Across The NHS Can Be Improved


Patients and other members of the public are being asked to have their say on new nursing code changes.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has expressed its willingness to get other stakeholders involved in its updated standards of conduct, performance and ethics.

Previously, concerns had been raised that the NMC was too reliant on its own members for change, but this new approach will ensure that patients are treated with kindness, consideration and respect, according to the body.

Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive and registrar, welcomed the public's input and reiterated her belief that her organisation should always make sure the patient comes first and is protected to the fullest extent possible.

Professor Jean White, chief nursing officer for the NMC in Wales, added: "As the professional roles of nurses and midwives continue to evolve and expand to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the population and the demands of health services, it is essential that the Code is refreshed to remain relevant to modern practices.

"I encourage everyone to support and engage with this important consultation."

One of the main reasons the NMC is seeking to improve the nursing code to be more up-to-date and inclusive to modern standards is to reduce criticism of nurses in the NHS.

There have been a number of scandals involving nurses in recent years, although the most well-known involved a group of staff at Stafford Hospital, who were found to have left patients without care or attention to the point where they would have to drink water from vases to keep from becoming dehydrated.

But although a small number of staff were charged by the NMC for their part in the scandal, governance issues were found to have been the main causal factor and the NMC has since sought to make sure similar incidents do not take place again in the future through cooperation with the NHS and Department of Health.

Expert Opinion
Any steps taken to improve the quality of care that patients receive are of course welcome and feedback from the general public and patients themselves is essential so that changes can be put in place to ensure the best possible care is available.

“Proper guidance will be vital to ensure that the regulatory framework is robust and that nurses are able to ensure they meet all of the necessary criteria.

“However, it is equally as important that steps are taken to ensure that the introduction of changes do not become a burden on medical professionals or distract from their principal aim – to provide high quality care to patients.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner