Plans for £30m investment to tackle fitness to practise backlog. 2024. https// (accessed 11 June 2024)

Fitness to practise: improving knowledge

20 June 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 12


Sam Foster, Executive Director of Professional Practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council, considers how to help members of the public to understand what consitutes a fitness to practise concern

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has a well-publicised backlog of referrals and cases relating to concerns from employers, members of the public and others relating to nurses, midwives and nursing associates (Devereux, 2024). It is aiming to improve the handling and timing of these cases.

As part of the improvement work underway relating to the handling of concerns, I and my NMC colleagues have been looking at the information that we hold to consider where we can work with employers to improve handling, timeliness and experience.

Like most other professional regulators, members of the public have been the biggest source of fitness to practise (FTP) referrals to the NMC. Since 2019, our data show that referrals by members of the public amount to around 33% of referrals. In 2022/23 our data show that 71% of these referrals have resulted in a decision not to investigate as they do not meet the threshold for a regulatory investigation.

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