Nurses and other care staff have been unfairly excluded from the workplace under the government’s Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) blacklist scheme, the Law Lords have ruled.
A landmark legal victory for nurses backed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) today means that nurses and other staff accused of wrongdoing in care home settings will no longer be suspended without the right to defend their case.
The Law Lords ruled that the POVA blacklist scheme, which is outlined in the Care Standards Act 2000, contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights.
POVA works by immediately suspending nurses and other care home workers when a complaint is received and placing them on a provisional blacklist.
However while on the provisional list, the nurses are unable to work and unable to make legal representations until they are placed permanently on the blacklist on the grounds of misconduct or cleared by the Secretary of State.
RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘The RCN has been campaigning to end this unfair system since it was first introduced. I am delighted the highest court in the land has upheld the principle that care workers have a right to have their side of the story heard before losing their livelihoods, often for more than a whole year.’