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02-05-2012 | Article

Nurse registration check urged

Abstract

NMC Employer Confirmation Service

GPs are being urged to check that nurses working at their practices are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The regulator has launched a joint initiative with the BMA and the RCGP to remind GPs that it is not only the responsibility of nurses themselves to ensure that their registration is kept up to date, but also the doctors who employ them.

GPs should regularly check the registration status and qualifications of nurses on an annual basis, according to the NMC. Practices that fail to do so could face contract sanctions, while nurses could be liable for prosecution for claiming to be registered when they are not.

Interim Chair of the NMC Professor Judith Ellis said: "As the regulator for the UK's 670,000 nurses and midwives, it is the NMC's duty to ensure the health and wellbeing of patients and the public. Nurses and midwives cannot legally practise in the UK unless they are registered with the NMC. A nurse practising without registration puts themselves and their patients at risk."

The NMC provides a free online confirmation service for practices to check that nurses hold the necessary qualifications for the post and are registered.

Chair of the BMA GPs Committee Dr Laurence Buckman commented: "GPs will recognise the importance of making sure the qualifications of all their practice staff are properly checked before they are appointed. If they weren't aware of the NMC's free confirmation service already we would recommend they use it as it's a valuable resource."

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price