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Taking into account Nurse A’s insight, remorse and remediation, the panel next considered whether he was likely in the future either to put patients at unwarranted risk of harm or to act dishonestly. The panel considered the risk of repetition is low.
The panel was of the view that Nurse A had shown insight into his conduct, apologised for his actions, and provided positive testimonials addressing his honesty for the panel’s consideration from colleagues all of whom are aware of the regulatory proceedings against him. Further, he has been registered as a nurse for almost 30 years without any previous or subsequent referral to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
The panel next considered whether a finding of impairment was necessary to promote and maintain confidence in the nursing profession and to uphold proper professional standards for members of that profession.
The panel noted that there are two The Health and Care Professions Council findings against Nurse A and that the most recent of these resulted in Nurse A’s registration as a paramedic being removed by the HCPC. The panel considered that in these circumstances the public would expect a finding by the NMC that Nurse A’s fitness to practise was currently impaired as a registered nurse.
Accordingly, the panel concluded that a finding of impairment was necessary to declare and uphold proper professional standards and maintain public confidence in the profession and the NMC as a regulator.
Determination on sanction
The panel decided to make a caution order for a 2 year period.
The panel was mindful that any sanction should be no more restrictive on a nurse’s ability to practise than is necessary to satisfy the public interest.
The panel took into account that Nurse A registration as a paramedic had been removed by the HCPC. This was a significant sanction which had a considerable adverse effect on his professional and personal life.
This panel considered that a caution order was sufficient to mark that Nurse A’s behaviour was unacceptable and must not happen again. It was not necessary to impose a sanction which restricted his to practise as a registered nurse.
The panel determined that a caution order for a period of two years was sufficient to meet the public interest in this case. It marks not only the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, but also sent the public and the profession a clear message about the standards required of a registered nurse.