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Patients urged to give suggestions to shape new nursing code

  Monday 19th May 2014

Patients and the public are being encouraged to contribute their opinions as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) drafts a new version of its code.

NMC asks public for views on changes to nursing code of conduct. Photo: OnCall Team

The decision to revise the code follows recent controversies such as the Stafford Hospital scandal, where patients often faced lack of compassion from staff and were even found to have died needlessly.

The Francis report made approximately 290 recommendations to prevent “another Stafford” incident, including a pilot for nurses to spend time working as healthcare assistants and support workers before taking their degrees.

The new version of the code sets out standards of conduct, performance and ethics. It covers areas such as care, communication, teamwork, professionalism and complaints handling.

The regulator’s readiness to listen to and include the public in important revisions in the new code implies that patients should be treated with kindness, consideration and respect.

The NMC regulates the UK’s 670,000 nurses and midwives. To practice, all nurses must be registered with the NMC and have to abide by the code.

Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive, said: “The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public and the code is central in all that we do. It explains exactly what is expected of all nurses and midwives, no matter how and where they practise or what stage of their careers they are at. This is a chance to tell us what is important to you, and explain exactly what you expect from the people who care for you.”

The NMC urges that the feedback of patients is paramount to developing compassionate healthcare as a means of conduct, stating that it is “essential that patients themselves are genuinely and meaningfully involved at all stages in the planning, development and implementation of the code”.

If you, or perhaps persons very close to you, have received care from a nurse or midwife, be sure to have your say about what you think the revised code should include. Perhaps you are a nurse or midwife, and would like to offer suggestions about the code in which you follow.

You can email your comments to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk, using the subject line “Nursing code”.

Bethany Bishop

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Bethany Bishop

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