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NMC singles out care homes for ‘inappropriate’ nurse referrals

Care homes are making inappropriate nurse referrals and do not support staff through regulatory processes.

That is a finding of the Ambitious for Change Phase Two report, published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

In the report, respondents said they felt referral to the regulator was driven by perceptions that they were ‘different’ or an ‘outsider’.

The report also suggests that nurses in care homes are not told about concerns raised about them. Colleagues are also quick to blame them when things go wrong. Those working in small or isolated environments said they experienced inconsistent employer support when they were having trouble with revalidation.  

Following a lengthy review of its revalidation processes, the NMC believes it now has clear evidence of a link between diversity characteristics and lower revalidation. It surmises that long-standing, systemic inequalities are to blame for the regulatory disparities.

The report notes that men make up 11 percent of the NMC register but do 15 percent of jobs in care homes. Black African professionals make up 8 percent of the nursing register but do 14 percent of jobs in care homes.

Ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality or religion as well as a person’s type of employment are among those factors that make employees feel ‘different’. Many Black and Asian professionals felt that ethnicity was a key reason for nurse referrals.

The report also notes that men may be asked to do different types of tasks compared to women. For example, male nurses do more physical tasks such as moving people, cleaning trolleys and caring for people who show violent behaviour. This may suggest that gender is driving job role and work setting, the NMC said.


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