NURSE OR MIDWIFE WITH A LEGAL ISSUE? GIVE US A CALL: 020 7060 1776

eing fit to practise requires a nurse, midwife or
nursing associate to have the skills, knowledge, health and character to do
their job safely and effectively.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will investigate allegations
made that nurse, midwife or nursing associate on their register does not meet
our standards for skills, education and behaviour.

A nurse, midwife or nursing associate can be referred to
a Fitness to Practise hearing.  If you are a nurse, midwife or nursing associate and has
been referred to a Fitness to Practise hearing, this is what you need to know.

1.       You
have the right to be represented

 The NMC strongly recommends that any nurse, midwife or
nursing associate facing a fitness to Practise hearing “take advice from your
professional organisation, trade union or lawyer.

Professional legal advice is essential for any nurse,
midwife or nursing associate because it substantially increases the likelihood of
a positive outcome.  Legal professionals
such as NMC Defence Barristers are experts in healthcare law and understands
the process and procedures.

2.       You
are entitled to have your case decided at a hearing

As a nurse, midwife or nursing associate, you are
entitled to have your case decided at a hearing.  However, in cases where the allegations are
straightforward and there is not public interest in arranging a full heating, your
case can be decided at a meeting – which is less formal and stressful.

3.       The
Fitness to Practise Committee

The Fitness to Practise panel is made up of registered
nurses or midwives and lay members who will hear and decide on your case.

4.       Fitness
to Practise hearings are public hearings

Fitness to Practise hearings are usually held in public
to reflect accountability to the public. The panel may agree to hold parts of
or all of the case in private, to protect the anonymity of the alleged victim,
or if confidential medical evidence is shared. In cases where a nurse, midwife
or nursing associate’s fitness to practise is alleged to be impaired by reason
of health then the hearing will be held in private due to the confidential
nature of these cases.

5.       Not
intended to punish

Fitness to Practise proceedings against a nurse, midwife
or nursing associate does not exist to punish them.  Fitness to Practise proceedings exists to
protect patients and the wider public by ensuring that they are fit to Practise
and will not cause anyone they treat any harm.

6.       Help
yourself with good admin

When you are subject to a NMC Fitness to Practise
investigation, you will be notified in writing. 
Promptly completing and returning the NMC paperwork, speaking to your
professional organisation or trade union and instructing a legal representation
are steps can help you through the process.

7.       The
NMC investigation

Before you are referred to a NMC hearing, a full investigation
would have been undertaken including an Investigating Committee meeting.  The purpose of this is to gather all the
relevant information and statements that will eventually form part of the
Fitness to Practise hearing.

8.       Sanctions

The NMC Fitness to Practise panel can:

  •  Take no action.
  •  Make a nurse, midwife or nursing associate subject
    to a caution order.
  • Impose a conditions of practice order on a nurse,
    midwife or nursing associ
  • Suspend a nurse, midwife or nursing associate
    from the register
  • Strike the nurse, midwife or nursing associate from
    the register.

 9.       Most
serious cases only

NMC Fitness to Practise investigations and sanctions are
reserved for the most serious cases only. 
The NMC encourage employers to undertake their own internal investigations
in the first instance and only refer cases to them in the most serious cases where
patient safety is at risk.

10.   NMC
Defence Barristers are here for you

We understand the stress that a NMC Fitness to Practise
referral can cause.  We have represented nurses,
midwifes or nursing associates before NMC hearing for years and have unrivalled
experience in doing so.

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory defence barrister specialising in taxi and private hire licensing law, appeals and defence.

Need to discuss a NMC Fitness to Practise issue?


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