Nurses and MidwivesWe handle cases where nurses and midwives are being investigated by their regulatory body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
The Regulatory ProcessThe disciplinary process that is followed by the NMC is as follows:-
- Investigation - the case will initially be assessed by a screening team. Should the screening team determine that the case warrants investigation, then the case will be passed to case examiners. The case examiners will assess all the evidence, including evidence from the nurse or midwife who has been referred, and they may also seek expert advice. At the end of the investigation, the case examiners (or the investigation committee where case examiners disagree over what to do) will determine whether there is a case to answer. Should they decide that there is, then they will refer the matter on to either the Conduct and Competence Committee or the Health Committee
- Hearing - the panel assessing the fitness to practice of the nurse or midwife will consist of medical and lay members. A solicitor is normally appointed to present the NMC's case. The panel will review the documentation before them, hear from witnesses and experts, and the nurse or midwife who is the subject of the hearing will be given a full opportunity to make representations and present evidence in their defence.
- Decision and sanctions - should the panel determine that the fitness to practice of the nurse or midwife is impaired on the balance of probabilities, then they can either issue a caution order (which last 1 - 5 years), or place conditions of practice on the nurse or midwife, or suspend the nurse or midwife for a period of time, or the strike-off the nurse or midwife.
- Appeal - the nurse can appeal against any sanction imposed within 28 days to the High Court.
Internal Disciplinary ProceedingsWe also assist and represent nurses and midwives where they are the subject of internal disciplinary proceedings by their employer.
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