ARM welcomes the news that the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) will carry out a lessons learned review of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) handling of Morecombe Bay midwives cases at the request of the Secretary of State for Health. The PSA states that, ‘the NMC supported that decision and welcomed the review. The terms of reference for the review agreed with the Department of Health and the NMC are:

1. To review the handling by the NMC of the complaints against midwives in the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust arising out of events in 2008 and later and, in particular:

a. The NMC’s approach to managing the complaints;

b. The administration of the cases; and

c. The relationship management with witnesses, registrants and other key stakeholders.

2. To identify lessons for the NMC (and other regulators) about its handling of these cases and its approach to relationships with witnesses and other stakeholders.

3. In the light of the NMC’s present procedures to make further recommendations if necessary for changes to its processes and approach.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the review may contact nmcreview@professionalstandards.org.uk’.  See the PSA website for more details: Professional Standards Authority, May 2017

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care is an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament. The Authority assesses the performance of nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK. It conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if they consider that sanctions are unduly lenient and it is in the public interest. More information about the work of the PSA and its approach is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk

ARM has concerns about NMC conduct regarding the Morecombe Bay midwives cases, and encourages those midwives affected by the issues to contribute to this review. It is likely that as an organisation we will also respond. We will keep you updated with our input and the PSA announcements. Meanwhile, ARM members who are currently undergoing or have been through any investigative procedures can access support by logging in and going to the Midwives’ Haven page for details and the email address.

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