Revised NMC Nursing Code

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The NMC is consulting on a draft revised Code for nurses. ‘The Code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives’, is currently in the second stage of a two-part six month public consultation.

The NMC are keen to hear views from patients and the public about what the Code should include. The Code is the foundation of good nursing and midwifery practice. It sets out how nurses and midwives should behave in every area of their practice and applies to all nurses and midwives.

The organisation is also keen to hear views on its proposed approach to revalidation in which nurses and midwives declare they remain fit to practise. The NMC want to ensure that the revalidation model, which will be launched in December 2015, is flexible and fit for purpose.

The NMC decided to revise the existing code partly because of events such as the scandal at Stafford Hospital. One of the failures identified at the hospital was a lack of compassion from some nursing staff.

The draft code covers areas such as care, communication, teamwork, professionalism and complaints handling.

The chief executive of the NMC, Jackie Smith said that: “The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public, and the code is central in all that we do. It explains exactly what is expected of all nurses and midwives, no matter how and where they practise or what stage of their careers they are at. This is a chance to tell us what is important to you, and explain exactly what you expect from the people who care for you.”

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “It is vital that healthcare is centred around the needs of the patient. The NMC Code lays out the standards of conduct to which all nurses and midwives must adhere when treating their patients. It is therefore essential that patients themselves are genuinely and meaningfully involved at all stages in the planning, development and implementation of the code. We strongly encourage patients and the public to get involved with this important consultation process and help shape the future of healthcare provision in the UK.”

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