As first-line healthcare providers, nurses have played a major role in the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The personal and professional sacrifices many of them have made deserves recognition and gratitude from everyone. Many nurses have been under immense strain—particularly those who are awaiting the results of a nurse misconduct investigation.
COVID-19’s Impact on the NMC
The pandemic has massively disrupted the operations of the nursing profession’s regulatory body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The NMC’s resources have been put toward helping members cope with the emergency.
The NMC has:
- Developed and issued guidance for members regarding well-being and professional/licensure issues raised by the pandemic
- Fast-tracked the authorisation of newly qualified professionals so they can begin work
- Ensured the competence of retired members seeking authorisation to return to work during the crisis
It is completely understandable that disciplinary proceedings are delayed. In fact, the NMC has issued apologies for its delay in preparing reports on nurse misconduct investigations. This official acknowledgement reflects the impact the slowdown in resolving disciplinary procedures has had on nurses and midwives under investigation.
Some of those under investigation are suspended. All are experiencing stress and strain.
What Are Your Options During a Delayed Investigation?
If you are facing a nurse misconduct investigation right now, consider pushing for resolution. It may be easier to achieve an agreed outcome during this time.
The NMC, like most professional bodies, has moved to holding video hearings to clear its backlog. While there are legitimate concerns about the fairness of results from video hearings, it is one avenue available to you.
Funding and Representation for a Nurse Misconduct Investigation
Your union or insurance can fund your costs during an investigation. If that option isn’t available to you, you can make fixed-fee arrangements.
You’re entitled to legal representation of your choice during the investigation and (usually) during the disciplinary hearing. During the investigation, it’s vital to be interviewed with a solicitor, especially if there are any potential criminal allegations linked to your case.
If you cannot have a solicitor with you during your hearing, engaging one can still help you prepare to speak in your defence on the day. Our team of experienced solicitors can help you make the best possible case for yourself. We can review your circumstances and offer advice about likely outcomes. We can gather evidence for you, prepare arguments and draft statements.
If you’re facing an NMC investigation, don’t go it alone. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation about your case.