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Putting patients ‘at the heart’ of the NMC

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The regulating body will set out its plan of action to put patients ‘at the heart’ of care

Following the fitness-to-practice concerns from the Morecambe Bay scandal, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has set out how it plans to implement recommendations.

To be discussed at the next council meeting on the 25 July, the regulating body will set out its plan of action to put patients ‘at the heart’ of care.

‘The mistakes of the past should never have happened and no apology will ever be enough for the families we so badly let down. But we’re absolutely committed to learning the lessons of the past and ensuring that no other families have to go through the same experience again,’ said Philip Graf, chair of the council.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) highlighted in their Lessons Learned Review that the council failed to take into account the concerns raised by family members.

The Morecambe Bay scandal saw 11 babies and 1 mother die after mistakes were made by midwives at Furness General Hospital between 2004 and 2013.

Midwives who were undergoing fitness-to-practice processes were allowed to continue to practice – meaning that women and their babies’ lives were put at risk.

‘It’s vital that patients and families are at the heart of what we do going forward and this programme of work is the first step to ensuring that. While we can never alter the past, I hope this work goes some way to showing all those who lost loved ones or were affected by the tragic events at Morecambe Bay how seriously we take this report and that change is our number one priority,’ added Mr Graf.

The NMC say they will implement a new approach to dealing with complaints from families after it was revealed that they previously monitored relatives who were being difficult.

They have also committed to a re-priortised People Strategy to be embedded across the entire organisation.

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