When a nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise is alleged to have fallen below an expected standard, they may come under the scrutiny of the national regulator – the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
The NMC may instigate a Fitness to Practise (FTP) investigation to investigate a complaint or allegation of clinical misconduct, lack of knowledge or skills or criminal behaviour. The NMC will usually write to a nurse or midwife to inform them that they are subject to a FTP investigation. In some cases, an interim hearing can be called by the NMC depending on the seriousness of the allegation. At an interim hearing, the NMC can impose and Interim Order which can impose restrictions on the nurse or midwife’s work or suspend the nurse of midwife from the register in the interest of public safety whilst the case investigation is ongoing.
The nurse or midwife normally submits to the NMC a written response to the complaint or allegation which will be taken into account should the matter be referred to a formal hearing.
The NMC’s FTP hearing process consists of a number of stages:
- Facts and evidence;
- Impairment of fitness to practise; and
Expert legal advice and representation is essential to ensure the best outcome in NMC fitness to practise proceedings.
Whilst nurses and midwives can get legal advice from their union or professional health care body, it is important that nurses and midwives are aware of their right to choose their own representation.
For the best outcome in FTP proceedings, seeking expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity is vital. This will allow for adequate time to thoroughly prepare a response to the NMC. This is particularly important in cases involving both criminal law and professional regulation.
Kings View Chambers have gained a strong and excellent reputation for defending and representing nurses and midwives at all stages of NMC proceedings. From our years of experience, we have come to understand the stress you face when you are subjected to an NMC investigation and the consequences for your career, reputation and personal life.
What Kings View Chambers can do for you?
- We can draft a thorough and clear written response to the NMC on your behalf. A poor response or one that is submitted late can result in further complications and charges of not complying with the process. A well drafted written response can lead the NMC to conclude there is no case to answer.
- We can represent you throughout the investigation including at any interim hearings or full FTP hearings. Competent legal advice and representation can mean the difference between the NMC imposing sanctions and restrictions and not.
- We can act for you on any subsequent appeals following a NMC fitness to practise proceedings.
- We can advise you on any criminal law aspects of your case.