pulling_your_strings_sherlock_by_clockwork_fox-d4m9tl8THE NMC AND RCN DANCING TOGETHER

That great double-act of nursing, the NMC and the RCN, who strut the nursing stage as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumber, are nothing more than fee-sucking parasites, which, more worryingly, are selling the interets of nurses to employers; in return for being the sole arbiters of what is right and wrong; the judge, jury, and executioners of nurses.

They are puppets who want to dine with government, and allow their masters and its media machine to set the nursing agenda. Nurses need to be evaluated regularly, they agree, so let us give a big say in this ‘revalidation process’ to their employers; (quasi-privatised) hospital managers, and their nursing home equivalents, who work for debt-ridden private equity trusts, and are hell bent on cutting costs, so increasing their bonuses.

The Morcambe and Wise of UK nursing have readily followed the same government-led initiatives adopted by that other dictatorship, the GMC, whose own proposals for appraisal and revalidation state that ‘the balanced scorecard will be the key method of assessing performance and monitoring it over the year’ and that ‘practices that fail to achieve targets set within 1 year will rapidly be receiving remedial notices’; that is, there will be two stages to termination of contracts. In the same vein, nurses who do not lick their master’s boots will have a dossier compiled on them, which will be used as a basis for reporting them to the NMC.

From the mouth of the RCN: “Nurses risk falling foul of revalidation requirements unless their employers carry out regular and effective appraisals, senior nurses have warned’. A far cry from what should be said: “Stuff the NMC and its employer’s charter of revalidation”. “Stop them keeping a scorecard on nurses”.

Consider a hypothetical case. Nurse Mary Poppins is working in a nursing owned by a private equity trust. She has finished a drugs round, and has taken the drugs trolley into the treatment room. She opens a cupboard and commences to re-stock her trolley. As her back is turned, a patient with an history of theft, sneaks in the treatment room and steals several tablets (benzodiazapines), and swallows them. The nurse realises what has happened, and informs management. She is reported to the NMC, and faces a disciplinary hearing. The nursing home adds a number of other ‘issues’ surrounding this very experienced and well-regarded nurse, and also reports these to the NMC. These issues are subsequently deemed not worthy of follow up. The dossier begins to unravel.

To me, this would sound like a company wanting to get rid of a ‘stone in its shoe’, someone who does not chime merrily with company cut-to-the-bone policies, perhaps.

What of the main complaint?. Has every nurse who dispenses drugs always locked themselves in the treatment room when putting their trolley away? In the UK, the stolen tablets are a Class C, Schedule 4 Controlled Drug under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, but, as given by such as Ian Peate, Karen Wild, Muralitharan Nair, ‘Nursing Practice: Knowledge and Care’ (2014), there is no requirement to keep a benzodiazapine in a controlled drugs cupboard, or for them to be recorded in a drugs register – see their table 19.2).

The NMC would save time, and nurses’ and taxpayers’ money, if they stopped tap-dancing to the tune of employers and government.

Stop judging nurses as if they are Mary (perfect) Poppins.

Get real. Stop investigating (t)issues of lies.

When we stop being human, we become absurd.

Give nursing to nurses, not employers, and their double-act stooges.
lenin nightingale 2015



    • Hi. I’m stunned by your blog. I have two NMC actions against me. The first involves my whistleblowing of seclusion abuses at NHS Roseberry Park forensic LD hospital in 2012. They were locking up small calm vulnerable female patients up for between 3 and 9 to enable staff e.g.to take tea breaks and to park patients for convenience. They fired me for legitimately examining one victims care file but “for too long”. Their NMC referral prompted an external lawyer payed by the NMC to visit the Trust for 6 months and creating a new charge…i.e. complaining without the victims consent and using my home computer to write my complaint and not the Trusts. I continued complaining relentlessly throughout 2013. The NMC condemned me to 3 years career crushing conditions and ordered me to study as a PDP confidentiality and safeguarding to “protect the public”. I dumped the RCN lawyer in order to deal with the NMC directly. My protestations saw me labelled as having an attitudinal problem and unlikely to improve from practice conditions. The only job I could get was taking short term charge in a crappy nursing home whilst the manager was off having back surgery. They were killing patients by not feeding or hydrating selected weaker ones in lieu of end-of-life programmes. I saved one by feeding them personally and she recovered. I complained to the manager who fired me for legitimately looking at a the worst culprits last appraisal. She reported me to the NMC for allegedly breaching confidentiality. Consequently I’m standing up to the NMC..I’ve nothing to lose save my registration but everything to retain like, err..hatred of self serving lies that involve the wilful destruction of innocents for personal/political benefit? The CQC eventually mounted a raid of the hospital and found everything that I’d complained about still happening then rang me to thank me for my persistence. And the nursing home?…After 6 months complaining to safeguarding despite their efforts to support the home, it closed (I think for financial reasons). The NMC is a political “star chamber” type prosecution service run for the benefit of lazy and second rate lawyers. And now with revalidation also academics. Any piece of trivia is welcomed. The NMC is the friend of the abusive employer who sees a powerful ally guaranteed for support and to crush any whistle blower simply on the submission of a referral form. BUT! …they’ve changed their practice code (cf March 2014) …see section 5.4..wellbeing now for the first time ever trumpts confidentiality in light of East Staffs and Winterbourne…FORWARD …into the valley of death!

      • It is in the interest of every nurse to stand up to the NMC. NMC cases may mention mitigating circumstances but dont take them into account. They don’t take into account that another person who could be named and indeed responsible (NMC don’t deal with senior HCA) wasn’t mentioned in my case.
        In my case the NMC accepted that Lorazepam was a CD and this shows clearly their lack of expertise. Of course as every WORKING nurse knows it is a Schedule 4 class C and as a pharmacist said ” it could be left on a shelf, it doesn’t even have to be locked away.
        I have referred the RN on the panel 1, for not informing the LAY members (Tom Dick or Harry) on the panel of the classification of Lorazepam and 2, Due to this lack of knowledge regarding the drug in question brought nursing into disrepute.
        The NMC is Not Fit For Purpose and this has even been acknowledged by the Professional Standards Authority and every nurse who has become a victim of the NMC as they are guilty. No questions asked, they are guilty.
        My case will now go to the high court to be overturned
        NMC get your house in order.

  1. A perfect description which is widespread in different guises. It clearly illustrates an unhealthy alliance between Nurse Regulators and commercial interests and highlights a conflict of interest which benefits neither patients or the profession.
    It assists private providers to get away with murder, (literally at times) preventing nurses from taking preventative action or whistleblowing and positions the NMC in a judge, jury & executioner of the ‘offending’ RNs.
    Nurses are being forced into a position where they must toe the line of the quasi-managers/rulers of the NHS or private providers if they are to have any hope of revalidation for the next 3 years.
    Many cases made public by the NMC are in themselves false allegations, in one case 12 false allegations were made against a nurse. What appeared on their schedule of cases was more akin to a nurse with fake qualifications than a nurse with 35 years experience.
    The classification of medication is changed to suit the case irrespective of the legal status of the drug under Misuse of Drugs act 2001.
    The RCN have accompanied me on occasions, always when I had reported abuse and I had had false allegations made against me. The RCN rep be it workplace steward or Regional Officers greet the managers like old friends and then sit quietly by. At the conclusion of the case they glide away obedient lackeys and no further ‘help’ is given
    Lenin is so right about Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee it is such an apt description for what is, as far as RNs are concerned, “a pair of corrupt fee-sucking parasites”

  2. Welcome aboard David I thought I was in this boat alone.
    Problem with the NMC is that they do not bother with circumstances, poor staffing, unsafe working environments where staff cannot follow policies safely. They have there own and the NMC stakeholders to satisfy so no justice for nurses

  3. I appreciate that my views may seem a little strident but I have been living this very real nightmare at the very end of my career for five years now. My only crime is to be responsible for long standing institutional abuses being finally stopped at Roseberry Park Hospital, Middlesbrough (CQC July 2014). I could of course express opinions under a pseudonym but have absolutely nothing to hide and everything to complain about. This continues to be a shocking experience. What it has done is to make me aware that I am not alone. For younger nurses embarking on their careers and for the nursing profession generally they require better than this.

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