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Safe and effective: Northern Ireland and beyond

12 March 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 5

The Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) (2018)Code makes clear that nurses can use it to promote safe and effective practice in their place of work. Prioritising people is a central tenet of The Code and the nurse has to put the interests of people using or needing nursing services first. Nurses must also take account of their own personal safety. The Code also requires them to act without delay if they believe that there is a risk to patient safety or public protection, raising and, if necessary, escalating any concerns.

Nurses, like many professions, have the right to take part in lawful industrial action, including strike action. Any nurse taking lawful action will not be in breach of The Code. The NMC notes that during action employers of health and care services play an important part in planning and preparing how the individual needs of people can be met (NMC, 2019). But is our Code incompatible with industrial action? Its tenets continue to apply during any action and the NMC reminds all nurses that they have a duty to uphold professional standards and behaviours.

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