A regulator has found widespread mishandling by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of complaints it has received about the way nurses working for government contractors have carried out disability benefit assessments.
A snippet which highlights just what goes wrong :
It also found that NMC relied on the findings of Atos and Capita to justify closing cases about their own employees, and failed to consider crucial documentary evidence, often ignoring the evidence of the person who had lodged the complaint, and failing to ask them for further information.
NMC also told some complainants that the role of PIP assessor was not relevant to the nurse’s fitness to practice, unless it involved dishonesty.
PSA, which oversees the UK’s nine health and care professional regulatory organisations, concluded that NMC’s failure in at least two cases “might not be sufficient to protect the public”, while it was unable to reach a conclusion on public protection in another nine cases.
And it found that the handling of 24 of the 28 cases “might undermine confidence” in NMC.
PSA acted after hearing concerns from disabled people that NMC was dismissing concerns about nurses, even when claimants were saying there were witnesses to the nurse’s actions or they had taken a recording of their face-to-face PIP assessment.
But PSA also criticised NMC’s failure to tell disabled people who had raised concerns about their assessments that they should ask the Department for Work and Pensions for a mandatory reconsideration of the decision made on their PIP claim.
And it said that NMC often failed to tell those who had made complaints to come back to PSA if any concerns about a nurse’s fitness to practise were identified by DWP after it had been asked to look again at their case.
The PIP failings contributed to NMC failing on two of the standards for “good regulation for fitness to practise”.