The Nursing and Midwifery Council has confirmed its commitment to a full review of specialist community public health nursing, commonly referred to as the third part of the register.
The third part of the register currently encompasses professionals from a wide range of public health nursing disciplines, including health visitors, school nurses, sexual health advisers, health protection nurses, occupational health nurses and family nurses in Scotland. The review will consider whether the third part of the register, which was established in 2004, is appropriate for modern public heath nursing.
The review will look at the make up of the third part of the register, and the standards and proficiencies that public health nurses will need to demonstrate to meet the increasingly complex health demands of communities. The review will be undertaken in the light of the wide-spread reorganisation of health services in England, and the developing demands on public health nurses across the UK. This includes enabling the significant role that health visitors will be expected to play in supporting vulnerable families and promoting the health of infants.
NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes, said:
“We are at an early stage in taking a fresh look at this area, and we expect to announce a timetable for the full review in the next few months. However, we are committed to thinking radically about how the regulation of this important area of practice should work in the future.
“We will work in partnership with the UK government and devolved administrations, the professions and the public to develop our approach to the review, and we would welcome the engagement of our stakeholders in this important piece of work.”