We offer a specialist Professional Regulatory service to Nurses and Midwives regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
The Nursing and Midwifery Council is the regulatory body responsible for nurses and midwives in the UK; it is illegal to work as a nurse or midwife without being on the NMC register. As part of their duty to protect the public, the NMC have the power to take action by either removing or restricting a nurse or midwife’s registration if they fall seriously short of the high standards expected.
The Fitness to Practise (FtP) Directorate processes allegations of impairment of fitness to practise made against nurses and midwives on grounds including misconduct, lack of competence and ill health.
The investigation process
1. If an allegation is made to the NMC, it will first be assessed by a triage team. If there may be a case to answer, the team collects evidence and passes the case to an Investigating Committee.
2. Investigating Committee panels will consider the allegation and then may decide to take no further action, refer the case to the Conduct and Competence Committee in cases relating to impairment of fitness to practise, or refer the case to a panel of the Health Committee, if the case relates to mental or physical health.
3. A Health Committee panel will consider if your fitness to practise is impaired for health reasons and will decide what action to take.
4. A Conduct and Competence Committee (CCC) panel will consider the case against you and will decide whether a registrant’s fitness to practice is impaired by reason of:
- lack of competence
- criminal offence
- mental or physical health
- a determination by a health professions body in the UK
The CCC has a range of powers. In relation to its final sanction, it can decide to:
- strike off the practitioner’s name from the register
- suspend the practitioner's registration for a specified period not to exceed one year
- impose a conditions of practice for a specified period not to exceed three years
- issue a caution for a specified period of between one and five years
- conclude that the case is not well founded and therefore take no further action
- decide, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, it is not appropriate to take further action
At any stage, you may be subject to an interim suspension order while the appropriate committee considers your case. In addition, the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence has the power to appeal any decision of a Fitness to Practise panel on the grounds that it is ‘unduly lenient’.
How we can help
There is comprehensive information in our Employment pages on the support we can offer for any workplace situation, including:
- Drafting grievances
- Harassment and bullying
- Internal disciplinary investigations & hearings
- Employment tribunal litigation
- Disclosure & Barring Service representations
- Investigation by the NMC
- High Court Injunctions
- NMC Fitness to Practise Hearings
- High Court Judicial Reviews
- NMC Interim Orders Panel Hearings
If you have been suspended or are under investigation, please contact us as a matter of urgency. It is much better to get advice at this stage, rather than risking the potential consequences for your career if the matter goes further. Anything that calls into question your suitability to remain on the NMC register can have far-reaching consequences.
As a member of a regulated profession, we are fully aware that any investigation or disciplinary process is very stressful, as it will usually go to the heart of your professional practice.
We can support you throughout this process, with pragmatic, considered advice. Should a decision go against you, we can advise you on the likelihood of success at appeal and can represent you robustly in proceedings in the High Court or Court of Session.
Professional Regulatory Contact
For more information on our Professional Regulatory services, please contact Riz Majid – Head of Employment – +44 (0) 20 7429 3906