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Decision on direction
The panel next considered what action, if any, to take. Under Article 26(7) of the Nursing and Midwifery Order (2001) (“the Order”), the panel may make an order that the registrar remove or amend the entry. The panel also noted the guidance which states that it may decide to take no action.
The panel considered that to take no action in the circumstances of this case would be inappropriate as it had previously found that Nurse A’s entry on to the NMC register was incorrectly made. The panel also considered that an amendment to the entry would be inappropriate in this case, because this was not merely a typographical or insignificant error.
In all the circumstances, the panel decided that the only appropriate order was to direct the registrar to remove Nurse A’s incorrect entry from the register.
Determination on Interim Order:
The panel has considered the submissions made by the NMC that an interim suspension order for a period of 18 months should be made on the grounds of public protection and public interest to cover the appeal period. He submitted that public confidence in the profession would be undermined if Nurse A were allowed to practise without restriction and that there is a strong public interest in maintaining the integrity of the register.
Acting on behalf of Nurse A, Mr B submitted that there were no public protection issues and no risk of harm in her case. He submitted that there was a high bar for an interim suspension order to be imposed on public interest grounds alone and that a reasonable and well-informed member of the public would take no issue in these circumstances if an interim order was not imposed.
The panel, in balancing the public interest against Nurse A’s interest, concluded that an interim order was not necessary or proportionate. The panel considered that the imposition of an interim order would be disproportionate in the particular circumstances of Nurse A’s case.
No element of dishonesty was found, and no concerns were been raised in respect of Nurse A’s clinical practice. The panel also noted that she engaged with her regulator, she had had a lengthy unblemished nursing career and was of good character.