New healthcare regulations: The implications for midwives
On 2 April 2014 the Law Commission published its report on the future regulation of health and social care professionals. The report has been 3 years in the making and includes a 200-page draft Bill.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is one of the nine health care profession regulators. The NMC currently operates under the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 with each of the other health care regulators also operating using their own specific legal framework. The Law Commission has proposed that the current legal framework for each regulator be repealed and replaced with a single Act of Parliament that will cover all of the health professions. The Law Commission has suggested the title of ‘Draft Regulation of Health and Social Care Professions etc. Bill 2014’. The idea for this is that it will produce a UK-wide approach to health care regulation.
The Law Commission has proposed a number of changes that will potentially affect all practising midwives. Every midwife in the UK is aware of the need to be registered with the NMC, by submitting the appropriate forms and fees, but, beyond that, fortunately, most midwives will never have first-hand experience of their regulator.
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