Nurses and midwives must abide by the revised NMC Code as of today.
The code has been updated to reflect the changes that the NHS has undergone since it was last revised in 2008, particularly in the wake of the Francis inquiry into the failings in care at the Mid-Stafford Hospital. The new Code has updated sections on the duty of candour and patient care, and has a new section on the correct usage of social media in the profession.
The NMC's chief executive Jackie Smith said: 'This is a landmark day for every nurse and midwife in the UK, and for the people they care for. The code is fundamental to protecting the public. It sets out what patients want from midwives and nurses, and puts public expectations at the centre of professional practice.'
The NMC has said that the new Code will be an important part of revalidation when it is introduced in October. Staff undergoing revalidation will be assessed on their adherence to the Code.
Ms Smith added: 'We last changed the code seven years ago. Since then, the way that care is delivered has changed; public expectations have changed; and key reports like the Francis inquiry have permanently altered the healthcare landscape. The revised Code reflects modern needs. The Code and revalidation are key to improving or affirming professional practice and protecting the people in the care of midwives and nurses.'