In the UK, raising concerns is a crucial component of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code. It’s the responsibility of all registered nurses, midwives, and nursing associates to act swiftly and effectively when they have concerns about patient safety or the fitness to practise of a colleague.

Here’s a breakdown of your points in the context of the NMC’s guidance:

To safeguard the patient’s health and wellbeing:

  • This aligns with the NMC’s Code, which states that the paramount consideration is the health, safety, and well-being of patients. (Code Standard 1)
  • This means actively identifying and addressing any potential risks to patient safety.

Act without delay:

  • The NMC expects you to promptly raise concerns if you believe a patient is at risk. (Raising Concerns: Guidance for nurses, midwives and nursing associates)
  • Delays can worsen the situation and potentially harm the patient.

Raise any concerns with the patients who are at potential risk:

  • Open communication with patients is crucial. Inform them about any potential risks and involve them in decision-making where possible. (Code Standard 3)
  • However, prioritize confidentiality and consider if informing the patient directly poses additional risk.

Advocate for the patient:

  • If you believe a patient’s safety is compromised, speak up and advocate for their needs. This may involve raising concerns with colleagues, managers, or even external bodies like the NMC. (Raising Concerns guidance)
  • Ensure their voice is heard and their rights are respected.

Must act in the best interest of the patient:

  • This principle underpins all nursing and midwifery practice. (Code Standard 1)
  • When raising concerns, consider what serves the patient’s best interests first and foremost, even if it involves challenging others or questioning established practices.

Additional resources:

Remember, if you’re unsure how to proceed, seeking advice from colleagues, senior staff, or the NMC itself is always encouraged. Your primary goal is to ensure patient safety, and the NMC provides support for raising concerns responsibly and effectively.


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