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Record 57% rise in nurse complaints

2 April 2011

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Complaints against nurses and midwives have risen by a record 57% from last year, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has revealed.

The NMC received 833 new complaints in January and February, up on the 530 for the same period in 2010. The body said the number of new referrals from health service employers and members of the public was “significant”.

Referrals about complaints are made to the NMC from a number of sources, including employers, the public, the police and health staff.

The organisation feels that more needs to be done to determine why this significant rise has occurred.

NMC chief executive and registrar Dickon Weir-Hughes said: “It is encouraging that employers and members of the public are more confident about referring their complaints to us.

“We have worked hard to make our complaints-handling processes more efficient and effective and we have set demanding customer-focused targets for delivering our fitness to practise services.

“However, the fact that other healthcare regulators have also experienced similar dramatic increases in the volume of their complaints is a serious cause for concern and indicates the need for more detailed research into the underlying reasons for these trends.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Nursing and Midwifery Council

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