The Nursing & Midwifery Council (“NMC”), the regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK, has launched a public consultation aimed at overhauling the fitness to practise model, as it relates to those professions.

The consultation seeks the public’s views on the NMC’s proposed new strategy ‘Ensuring patient safety, enabling professionalism: a new strategic direction for fitness to practise’. At the core of the new strategy is an emphasis on openness and learning, encouraging registrants to highlight errors/ mistakes as soon as possible. The strategy also seeks to use the fitness to practise process as an opportunity to learn and reflect.

The strategy suggests that, where there is no dispute about what happened in a given set of circumstances or in respect of what sanction should be applied, cases should be concluded without public hearing.

Under the proposals, those affected by failings in care will be supported through a new public support service and will only be called to give evidence at public hearings where absolutely necessary.

The consultation will run from 4 April, until 30 May 2018 and can be accessed here.