NMC completes half of fitness-to-practise cases within time limit

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is completing just over half of its fitness-to-practise cases within its 15-month target.

Last year, it agreed with the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) that nine out of 10 cases should be settled within 15 months of referral.

Currently 56.5% of cases are completed within 15 months. Around 2,500 practitioners are waiting in the fitness-to-practise queue.

Cases take over twice as long as they should between the first and second examinations by the Investigating Committee.

The NMC aims to shorten the wait from the first to second investigation from 53 weeks to 21 weeks.

It says it is ‘not satisfied’ but the percentage of cases completed within 15 months is rising. It plans to complete three quarters of all cases within target by April 2010 and 90% in 2011.

Since December 2008, the number of cases facing a long wait for a hearing has fallen from 192 waiting over nine months to 132 waiting over six months.

prisca.middlemiss@haymarket.com

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