Latest News and Updates

NMC Faces Surge in FtP Referrals

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has witnessed a surge in Fitness to Practise (FtP) referrals and inquiries, reaching a monthly peak not anticipated by the regulator.

According to Nursing Times, in September alone, the NMC received 578 FtP referrals, marking a 34% increase from its initial predictions, and recently released council documents state that the FtP caseload currently stands at 5,500.

The governing council recently addressed the spike in referrals, noting that no definitive pattern had been identified. However, some members suggested that recent events, particularly the conviction of Lucy Letby, might have contributed to the increase.

Letby, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of six others, will face an FtP hearing at NMC headquarters in December, with the regulator intending to have her struck off.

While the specific reasons behind the rise in referrals is as yet unknown, council papers disclosed that the Letby conviction had led to a notable uptick in inquiries to the NMC.

According to Nursing Times, the executive director of professional regulation, Lesley Maslen, addressed the challenging circumstances the NMC currently faces, describing it as a “perfect storm.”

Maslen highlighted that, in addition to the Letby case, the NMC had been under scrutiny due to various headlines and investigations, including “widespread fraud” at a Nigerian resting centre, and an inquiry into the handling of FtP and whistleblowing. Maslen has been quoted as saying recent events have had a “destabilising” effect.

The NMC council papers acknowledged a broader trend of increasing referrals for other regulators in health and social care, indicating that the issue was not unique to the NMC.

Despite the unexpected rise in FtP referrals, the NMC has expressed its ongoing commitment to reducing the backlog.

Scroll to Top