The new Code1 came into force on 31 March 2015. After consulting members up and down the UK, the NMC has revised the Code to 'reflect current practice and provide key standards' for nurses in light of recent enquiries such as the Francis Report's recommendations on whistleblowing and raising concerns for nurses.
A number of sections have changed, such as the duty of candour and references to speaking up honestly and openly in cases of concern. The standard on duty of candour states that nurses should be 'open and honest with colleagues, patients and healthcare regulators when things go wrong.'
The section on fundamentals of caring for patients, such as giving them food and water has been updated too. 'I know a lot of people find that a bit strange,' says Jackie Smith, chief executive of the NMC. 'But to be honest it's a reflection of the various enquiry reports in the last couple of years which have emphasised this.'
The section on social media has also been expanded to provide standards on how nurses and midwives should behave on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. However, the section on social media covers the basic points of good online conduct. More in-depth social media guidance will be published soon.