NMC apologises for OH register mix-ups

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has apologised after a number of
occupational health practitioners inadvertently became de-registered, either
because they never received warnings their registration was up for renewal or
because they were not processed in time.

In one case, an OH nurse found she had not been registered for two months,
leading her employer, an NHS trust, to take disciplinary action against her and
reduce her pay to a basic nurse’s salary. Although now resolved, the stress of
the situation was such that the nurse ended up taking a month off sick

Another who fell foul was Lily Lim, principal lecturer in occupational
health at Middlesex University. Although registered since 1975, Lim discovered
that she had also slipped off the register and so, technically, was practicing
illegally, although as an academic, she was not seeing patients.

"I had to start my registration over again. I had to get three people
to say I was a good citizen, so it was very embarrassing professionally and
ethically," she said.

She knew of at least six other similar cases among OH practitioners, and had
been unable to get the NMC to answer her queries as to what had gone wrong.

An NMC spokesman said that in March last year, it had installed a new
computer system for registrations. This had had resulted in some
"changeover problems", but he insisted any glitches were now
resolved.

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