The Chief Executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council visited the Island on Friday.
The purpose of the visit by Jackie Smith was to raise the profile of the body among the nurses and midwives working in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), as well as those in the private and third sectors, in addition to increasing public awareness of its regulatory function.
The NMC’s primary role is to protect the public by regulating nurses and midwives. This is achieved through setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance and maintaining a register of those allowed to practise in the UK and Isle of Man.
This is achieved through a process called revalidation, introduced in April 2016, where nurses must continue to demonstrate they can practise safely and effectively every three years.
The Island has 941 nurses and midwives registered with the NMC supported by 1,700 health and care support workers in the DHSC delivering care across a variety of settings. Around 300 registered nurses and midwives successfully revalidated after taking part in the process in its first year.
Jackie Smith met Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft MHK and senior department officials on arrival before being taken on a tour of Manannan Court, the Island’s new £7.2 million mental health facility which was officially opened on October 11, where she spoke to staff and patients.
After lunch, she was introduced to all 53 of the Island’s student nurses at an event at Keyll Darree Education and Training Centre, and also took part in a question and answer session involving registered nurses, midwives, community nurses and healthcare assistants/support workers.
Jackie Smith then visited Hospice Isle of Man, where she was shown the facilities and met staff and volunteers, on her way to back to the airport.
Chief Nurse Linda Radcliffe said:
‘It is a privilege for the island’s nursing workforce to host a visit by Jackie Smith, Chief Executive of the NMC, and demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to the regulatory function of its registrants.
‘I met Jackie at the Chief Nursing Officer Summit (NHS England) staged by Jane Cummings in December 2015 just after I had taken up position as the island’s Chief Nurse. I invited her to visit our teams to highlight the challenges we face working in an island setting and to increase morale, and am delighted she’s now taken the opportunity.’
NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said:
‘I was delighted to visit the Isle of Man on Friday to meet Minister for Health and Social Care, Kate Beecroft MHK, Chief Nurse Linda Radcliffe as well as many dedicated nurses, midwives and students.
‘This visit gave me the welcome opportunity to discuss the vital role the regulation plays in ensuring nurses and midwives are equipped with the skills they need to practise safely and effectively. I was also able hear first-hand about the positive impact that revalidation is having on the practice of nurses and midwives on the Isle of Man.
‘The health and care landscape is changing rapidly and that means we all need to think about things differently. During my visit I was able to talk about new routes in to the nursing profession, such as nursing associate and the nursing degree apprenticeship, and hear how these opportunities may support delivery of health and care services on the Isle of Man in the future.
‘I was also able to discuss with both Kate and Linda, how recent changes to our language testing requirements will support the recruitment of highly-skilled nurses and midwives from other parts of the world while maintaining the highest standards of patient care.’
Chief Nurse Linda Radcliffe, left, with Nursing and Midwifery Council Chief Executive Jackie Smith