Interview with Katerina Kolyva from the NMC

Midwives with babies
Published on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 12:46
Written by Katerina Kolyva

Today we spoke to Katerina Kolyva, the NMC's Acting Director Registrations and Standards. We talked about social media, student midwives and, of course, those rising NMC fees.

HSC:  Has there been a great uptake of midwives in 2012?

NMC: At the recent RMC conference, they said there had been a rise in the number of midwives working in the UK.

@DGFoord: Communication technologies are advancing at a fast pace; how's the NMC working to ensure that standards for nurses/midwives keep up?

NMC: The code applies across the settings and professions - we recently issued guidelines on social media which are used. Bottom line is code is across all environments, nurses and midwives should bear that in mind when using new communication channels. You can see our social media guidelines, which have been used by other regulators.

HSC: Why have registration fees increased when many midwives have had a pay freeze for two years?

NMC: Fees have risen so we can meet our core regulatory function of protecting the public - full FAQs on fees

‏@DonnaMadden79 What about protecting your members!? Many of which are struggling with wage freezes and escalating bills!

NMC: We're not a membership organisation - we are a statutory professional regulator and as such protect the public through setting standards and regulating the professions. We can comment on how regulation has changed regulation has shifted from self-regulated to more lay governance and stronger involvement of patients and users.

@DGFoord TU, SoMe guidelines v helpful, what about newer/emerging services, eg telehealth, telecare, supported self-assessment etc.

NMC: Fundamental principles of focus on quality of patient care and team working apply. We recognise importance of changes in this area, for example the use of more simulation in education and our standards cater for that.

HSC:  Are we seeing more young people enter into midwifery?

NMC: We don't actually keep stats while people are entering training - we could take a look at database and get back to you!

@AgencyNurse Do you feel that the primary purpose and role of the NMC is often misunderstood ? What are you doing ensure it isn't?

NMC: Yes we do, and we've been doing a lot of work over the past year and we'll continue to reiterate our core function, setting regulatory standards for education of nurses and midwives and treating fairly those who do not meet them.

HSC: Explain your core function?

NMC: Certainly! Our role is to protect the public - we do so through statutory professional regulation.

@DGFoord: How do you find balance between your two main 'customer' groups: patients/public & registrants? Is it hard to satisfy needs of both?

NMC: It's easy to as long as we're clear about our relationships with them. We serve the public, regulate nurses and midwives but engage with both. Our service to public is about ensuring every nurse and midwife on the register is fit to practise. Our service to our registrants is about offering a good experience when they engage with us around registration and using their evidence to develop outcome-focused standards.

HSC: Standards, How do you engage with nurses and midwives to gain feedback on current standards?

NMC: Various ways: formally through consultation, specific reference groups i.e. LSA forum for midwifery and strategic relations with senior nurses and midwives.

@AgencyNurse  Do you see social media, (not just Twitter) playing a greater part in your role?

NMC: Absolutely, it's a great way to engage in 2-way relationships with multiple stakeholders. It would be good to hear what other platforms, beyond the normal, stakeholders would like us to use.

@Agencynurse: I speak to many nurses on here who are confused as to the core function of the NMC. Would like to see something sharable, simple and social to explain it. Maybe through use of YouTube or similar. Also sharing the resources you already have through social media - standards and guidance. Important to share the old stuff, not just the new.

NMC: Like that YouTube idea - are aware there is a need to make our function crystal clear to all stakeholders.

HSC: Aside from today, how are you engaging through social media, as many midwives use Facebook and Twitter?

NMC: We'll be live-tweeting our Council meeting on Thursday, as we did last month and are planning more live chats in future.

@DGFoord Any plans to live stream Council Meetings too?

NMC:  we've been looking into this - might just be audio streaming to start with. Hard to get  1 good camera angle!

HSC: Do you feel there is benefit of doing regional workshops in which midwives give feedback on registration, is there demand?

NMC: As part of engagement strategy - which will be discussed by our Council next month - we'll look at how we engage at all levels. We remain committed to being a national, four country regulator.

HSC: 5,000 midwives are needed, it's been well documented, how can we make midwifery a career path to choose for school leavers?

NMC:  I'm afraid isn't a part of our regulatory remit, but if you're interested, @MidwivesRCM might be able to help you out.

HSC: How do you engage with independent/community midwives and those within the private sector? Are they hard to reach?

NMC: Our engagement strategy recognises the diverse workforce we regulate.

HSC:  How are work placements fairing for student midwives/nurses?

NMC: That would probably be for the employers to evaluate once new staff come in.

NMC survey findings on work placements here

HSC: Finally, Explain in one tweet what the 2013 holds for the NMC, midwives and Nurses, tricky one?

NMC: MRS launch, new fee, efficiencies, clear strategy, new Council, improvements in FtP and registration, customer service

Follow us on Twitter for more interviews soon @hscseries

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