This month, we are focusing on a case heard by the NMC’s investigating committee (IC), rather than a fitness to practise panel. The IC can decide whether to remove or amend a registrant’s place on the register
you are the panel
That on 1 May 2016, Nurse A submitted an online revalidation application and indicated that:
- She had a reflective discussion with a colleague when she had not;
- She had received confirmation from colleague A on 26 April 2016 when she had not and thereby an entry in her name on the register of the NMC was fraudulently procured/incorrectly made.
The NMC was alerted that Nurse A’s registration was fraudulently procured or incorrectly made. The NMC received a referral from Colleague A, a practice nurse manager at a Medical Partnership.
Colleague A stated that Nurse A revalidated by using her details as the confirmer when she had not confirmed their practice or had the required reflective discussion.
Based on the information provided in her application, she indicated that she had a reflective discussion in 2016 and her practice was confirmed by Colleague A, who they had the discussion with.
At the hearing
Nurse A admitted all the charges so the facts in the charges were found proved. Nurse A admitted that her entry on the register was incorrectly made as a result of the incorrect information provided.
However, she denied that she had fraudulently procured her entry on the NMC’s register and that she had knowingly sought to mislead the NMC by providing incorrect information.
The panel considered evidence from one witness on behalf of the NMC – Colleague A, who informed the panel that the meeting had initially been set for an appraisal, which had been cancelled but instead became a meeting in which the revalidation process was discussed.
Colleague A stated that Nurse A did not have the reflective discussion as suggested nor did she give the relevant confirmation at that meeting.
Nurse A explained to the panel that she believed she had a reflective discussion with Colleague A at the meeting in 2016 and that she had received confirmation from Colleague A on that date.
The panel heard evidence that later in 2016, she texted Colleague A to inform her that she had successfully revalidated to which Colleague A replied “Great news who was your confirmer in the end?”
Nurse A told the panel that it was then she realised that there was something wrong as she believed that Colleague A was her confirmer. Nurse A then apologised to Colleague A and sought advice from the Royal College of Nursing and Ms 2, a personal development and lead nurse in the clinical commissioning group.
The panel noted that Nurse A had been the first person to undergo the revalidation process in her organisation, so there was no one at the time that had gone through the process and with whom she could have discussed it.
The panel accepted her account that she was mistaken and genuinely believed that she had the reflective discussion with Colleague A at the meeting in 2016 – the date she had recorded on her form as the date of the reflective discussion.
It also accepted that she believed that she had received confirmation that same day.
The panel accepted Nurse A’s explanation that she found the revalidation process daunting and overwhelming.
The panel found that she had not given due care and consideration to the revalidation process. The panel concluded that Nurse A’s entry on the register was incorrectly made but not fraudulent.
Results of the investigating committee
The invesigating committee listens to the facts of the case in the same way that an FTP panel does for FTP cases.
There is no impairment stage – the process is simply that the panel have to decide the facts (whether the entry on the register was made incorrectly and/or fraudulently) and then decide whether to make an order that the registrar remove or amend the registrant’s entry.
There are no sanctions. If they decide to correct the entry then the person will remain on the register but if they remove them they will no longer be on the register but can reapply for registration at any point.
Removal is not the same as being struck off as if you are struck off, you have to either successfully appeal or apply for restoration, which you can only do after five years have passed. You would have to appear again in front of a panel who would decide whether or not you are able to be restored.