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NMC stops publishing FtP charges ahead of hearings


Detailed information about the charges facing nurses and midwives in fitness to practise cases will no longer be made available to the public ahead of hearings, following a decision taken by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

From today, the NMC will only publish the type of the main allegation that has been made against a registrant – such as “misconduct” – in advance, and this will only be available one week before the start of the hearing.

“We have taken the decision to no longer publish detailed draft charges ahead of the hearing”

NMC spokeswoman

Information including the name of the person facing the charge, their PIN, the venue and date of the hearing, country where the allegation took place, and the NMC committee dealing with the case will still be published, but also only a week in advance.

Previously the regulator published this information, plus all charges involved in the case and accompanying details 28 days ahead of the hearing taking place.

The NMC said it will from now on only provide detailed information relating to the case once the charges have been read out in public at the hearing.

However, if a hearing is held in private – a request that was recently made during the case against Pauline Cafferkey, the nurse who survived ebola but was then cleared of all misconduct allegations – the charges would not be available until the case has concluded.

The regulator said it had made the changes “following feedback from our stakeholders and advice from the Information Commissioner”.

The NMC said it would “help to ensure fairness to all parties”, because charges could sometimes change by the time the hearing began.

“These changes will help to ensure fairness to all parties, as charges at pre-hearing stage may be subject to change”

NMC spokeswoman

When asked by Nursing Times whether the decision had been taken as a result of the recent high-profile case against Ms Cafferkey, a spokeswoman for the regulator said the changes were “something the NMC had been considering for a little while”.

“As an organisation committed to continuous improvement, we are constantly reviewing our processes,” she said. “Following feedback from our stakeholders and advice from the Information Commissioner, we have taken the decision to no longer publish detailed draft charges ahead of the hearing.

“These changes will help to ensure fairness to all parties, as charges at pre-hearing stage may be subject to change,” added the spokeswoman.

”We will still publish details of each hearing, including the headline charge, a week ahead of the hearing taking place and we will provide a copy of the full charges once they have been confirmed on the day,” she said.


Readers' comments (6)

  • They obviously didnt like a Facebook Closed Group membership ridiculing the often stupid, trivial referrals. Many referrals are also vindictive because of whistleblowering, but whistleblowers are now scuppered until the NMC no longer sees honesty, truth and integrity as enemies of the NMC

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  • It is amazingly revealing how petty and foolish both the NMC and Nurse Managers can be, when you read the charges levelled against nurses in these lists of charges. For the uninitiated, some examples of these downright stupid Charges are things like: leaving apple cores in your car brings Nursing into ill repute or using the wrong colour paper tray to give an injection, looking at the Manager in "a certain way", spending time in a side room with a patient, for no clinical reason( how do they know?), leaving a cotton bag under your desk for 3 months... (what were the cleaners doing I ask?) plus so many subjective claims in the charges too, which should have been removed long ago.

    There are countless non nursing related charges, which only serve to bring the NMC and Nursing as a whole, into ill repute, if only they had the wits to realise it.

    Its a disgrace to publish this information attached to the Hearing at all! Where is the right of reply, published?

    But it just serves to reveal what a flawed Organisation the NMC is, and what the mentality of the people who regulate us, is like. They are a disaster for Nursing and are not representative of us as a Profession either , being mostly Lawyers or legal admin anyway. Since when did Nurses regulate Lawyer's, so why vice versa?

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  • NMC hires solicitors to do investigations, collect evidences & put the registrant in a stressful chair in front of the panel. These lawyers and judges has no idea what Nursing is.
    Why don't these lawyers or solicitors mind their own business and let Nurses mind their own. Do these solicitors realize how many Nurses control their bladders and stomachs whilst working in the wards? Do they know how stressed these Nurses are looking up to 15 patients per one Nurse???

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  • Rumour has it tgey have stopped publshing allegations because they were fed up with the email feedback flak they were getting about poorly phrased and seemingly trivial and ridiculous charges i.e a midwife was accused of telling a woman in labour that it is painful .
    As another poster has pointed out thses charges are framed and investigated by lawyers and not registrants and thats why tge charges end up in complete nonsense .

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  • Phil Dup

    The NMC are a cosy money spinning quango that has a vested interest in staying alive. Put all disciplinary actions in front of a Nurse employers HR Dept with a rigourous set of guidelines that ALL HR Depts Nationally must follow regarding punishments etc. Then put those plastic pretend Nurses in the NMC on the dole. Vive la Revolution!

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  • I would like to know why they are 'charges' and not 'allegations? This is not a criminal court; it is a hearing peopled by both lay people and lawyers. The NMC appears to have no process for handling malicious complaints or complaints leveled at multiple nurses by the same individual, which would seem to suggest someone with an axe to grind. Nurses are put through a lengthy, distressing process by an organization which fails to communicate effectively and all in the public eye. Nice way to treat your members, NMC.

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