The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. Final report. 2013. (accessed 30 August 2023)

Nursing and Midwifery Council. The code. Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. 2018. (accessed 30 August 2023)

Pyne R. Professional conduct and accountability. Mod Midwife. 1994; 4:(9)15-17

Sixth Report – Shipman: the final report. 2005. (accessed 30 August 2023)

Code of professional conduct for the nurse, midwife and health visitor.London: UKCC; 1983

First and foremost, patient safety

07 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 16

This editorial, where it can avoid it, will not be discussing the former neonatal nurse – enough will be written about her elsewhere. Consequent to events, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is now putting in place actions to have her name removed from the register.

The first edition of the Code of Professional Conduct was published in 1983 by the United Kingdom Central Council, predecessor to the NMC. This brief document made clear that:

‘Each registered nurse, midwife and health visitor shall act, at all times, in such a manner as to: safeguard and promote the interests of individual patients and clients; serve the interests of society; justify public trust and confidence and uphold and enhance the good standing and reputation of the professions.’

This was a clear proclamation as to how nurses, midwives and health visitors must act at all times. The first edition and the current revised Code (NMC, 2018) apply to all registrants, which includes patient-facing, hands-on practitioners, as well as anyone in managerial positions, in research or teaching. The Code offers registrants an extended definition of the phrase ‘professional accountability’ and emphasises the primacy of the interests of patients and clients. It is key the professions maintain good standing and reputation to maintain the trust and confidence of the public.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content