This paper explores current issues related to the professional regulation of nursing in England and Wales and considers whether self-regulation is currently under threat. In modern times there have been a significant number of serious incidents and scandals in health and social care and these have attracted adverse publicity in the media and exercised the mind of Government in the direction of public protection. Mental health practice has not escaped the critical gaze and recent homicide inquiries continue to cast a long shadow over the provision of mental health services. Recently, the Government has questioned the effectiveness of the nurses' professional body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and has spelt out the pressing need for tighter regulation of nursing practice. Recent policy documents aimed at ‘modernising’ nursing careers may actually circumscribe professional autonomy and subtly control the development of nursing practice and nurse education. On 1st April 2009 a new regulatory body, the Care Quality Commission will come into being and its advent will herald significant changes for health and social care. Lost in the changes will be the Mental Health Act Commission, as a stand alone visiting body.
How to CiteYoung A. (2009) “‘The Lighthouse Invites the Storm’ – Professional Regulation of Nursing in England and Wales – Under Threat”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. 6(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/mhldrp.2009.6121