Nurses face ‘fit to work’ shake-up

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Nurses and midwives could face new checks involving feedback from patients, users and peers under new proposals.

In a shake-up of the current three-yearly checks, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) wants to see involvement from the third parties before declaring staff fit to work.

Currently nurses and midwives declare themselves fit and the NMC has no power to force a third party to provide information about them.

The recommendation will be debated by members ahead of a vote at a meeting of the council next Thursday.

The NMC is also putting together a new draft model of its code to make provision for the new style of checks, expected to be published in the spring.

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said a series of pilots would be carried out to determine how many nurses should be checked under the new system.

“We think that that this is a really important initiative and one that will deliver an enhanced public protection role,” she added.