The Nursing and Midwifery Council is the regulator for nurses and midwives for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Islands.
The NMC was established under the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 and came into being on 1 April 2002. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2004 (SI:2004/1761) dictate the standards that nurses and midwives must adhere to. "Fitness to Practise" is a person's suitability to be on the NMC register without restrictions. If it is alleged that a nurse or midwife does not meet the required standards, the NMC will investigate and, where necessary, seek to take action to safeguard the health and well being of the public.
NMC Fitness to Practise Legal Advice
Allegations that Fitness to Practise is impaired stem from alleged incidents of misconduct, incompetence, criminality, physical or mental deterioration, or alternatively, the decisions of other regulators that an individual is not fit to practise. Nurses and Midwives have the right to defend such allegations at a hearing and are entitled to be represented by a solicitor for this purpose.
Following an allegation, the NMC will investigate the matter to determine whether there is a case to answer. The NMC may take steps to impose an interim suspension order which removes the nurse or midwife from the Nursing and Midwifery Register pending the outcome of the case. To obtain an interim suspension order, the NMC must persuade the Panel that the Order is necessary for the protection of the public, and is in the public interest and the interest of the Registrant. A Nurse or Midwife facing the prospect of an interim suspension order can oppose the granting of the order and is entitled to be represented by a solicitor.
Ultimately, if the NMC, in its investigations, determine that there is a case to answer, the Registrant may ultimately face a Conduct and Competence Hearing to determine whether the alleged misconduct is proven and if so, whether this impacts upon the Registrant's Fitness to Practise. Again, the Registrant is entitled to oppose the allegations of misconduct together with the inference that he/she is no longer fit to practise. In such circumstances, a proof will be fixed and evidence led by both parties. Evidence can be in the form of oral testimony by witnesses, documented witness statements or productions such as patient reports, progress reports, case notes, CCTV, tape recorded evidence and so on. Again, the Registrant is entitled to instruct a solicitor to represent his or her interests in a proof.
NMC Lawyers Glasgow, Scotland
If you require NMC representation please contact Alan Gravelle for a quote on 01414292262.