As a practicing midwife registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), you will be regulated according to the most up to date standards set by the council. Recent changes to regulation took effect from 31st March 2017, which means that you must be up-to-date with all changes in order to maintain your registration.
Though the NMC regulates both nurses, nursing associates and midwives, midwives are separate in that it is a criminal offence to attended a woman giving birth without being a qualified midwife, or midwife in training or medical practitioner, unless in emergency situations. Midwifery is considered a protected function. Anyone who assumes that title without qualification is committing a criminal offence.
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As a midwife, you are responsible for both the woman and her family whilst monitoring the environment within which you practice.
This year has seen changes in the way the NMC regulate midwives, including the removal of supervision as a regulatory requirement. Though this has not stopped the practice altogether, it has moved the focus away from Council supervision and has led to employers taking on different models of supervision for midwives.
The NMC now has sole responsibility for all midwife regulation, as is the case for nurses. You will follow the Code of Practice and go through the process of Revalidation every three years to renew your registration with the NMC.
Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors understand the pressures faced during Revalidation. As a registered midwife, you must complete:
Just as is the cases with nurses, you will be subject to referrals if your fitness to practice has been questioned. Your employer, colleague or a member of the public can bring a concern to the NMC with varying consequences. On some occasions a referral will not be pursued. The case examiner will decide if there is a case to answer, if not they will not take the matter any further but may deliver advice or a warning in regards to the concern.
When a case is deemed answerable, as the midwife, you will be given an undertaking by the case examiner who will suggest such undertakings for you to agree on, or your case will be handed over to the Fitness to Practice Committee.
At this stage, in anticipation of a hearing, you will be entitled to representation which Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors can provide. We are adept in the most up to date NMC midwife regulations and will support you in all stages of the proceeding. The Fitness to Practice Committee will host a meeting and a hearing, if the meeting cannot cover the case, and then make a decision over the case.
In specialist circumstances you may be subject to an Interim Order which limits your ability to practice until a decision has been made. Once the decision has been made, you may be given a sanction. The NMC has a range of sanctions available which influence your right to practice.
Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors deliver expert advice on sanctions and other stages relating to fitness to practice proceedings. We are here to support and guide you during this process and can prepare and represent you should you wish to appeal the decision made.
If you are a midwife registered with the NMC with any professional regulatory query or you have been referred in a fitness to practice case, contact Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors on 0333 772 0409.