Wilford Smith's NMC Defence Solicitors specialise in representing professional individuals who find themselves subject to an investigation by regulatory bodies across a number of sectors.
We act on behalf of nurses and midwives in England and Wales in regards to disciplinary matters, providing guidance in relation to dealings with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). We provide representation to individuals throughout the nursing sector, whether you are a nurse or midwife based in a hospital or the community. If you are a practice nurse, are employed by a nursing home or are in private practice, Wilford Smith's team of solicitors can provide you with expert legal advice to ensure the best result for you at the conclusion of disciplinary proceedings.
We know how difficult it can be to have your fitness to practice questioned, both for you personally and for your career. For these reasons, you need the support of solicitors who will work tirelessly on your behalf, with in-depth knowledge of the investigation process, who can provide you with clear and straight-forward advice at this challenging time. The NMC Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith have the required skills, knowledge and determination to ruthlessly develop a top-level strategy on your behalf, ensuring the best possible outcome in any investigation. Call us today to see how we can help.
How does the Nursing and Midwifery Council carry out its investigations?
When a complaint is made regarding your conduct, the NMC will make a series of preliminary enquiries in order to establish if there are grounds for a case against you. If, following this initial enquiry, it is felt that there are sufficient grounds, the NMC will pass its finding on to its investigations team, which will then prepare the case for their Case Examiners. There are a select number of types of conduct that can be investigated by the NMC:
- Lack of Competence
- Inadequate knowledge of English
- Criminal behaviour
- Serious ill health
If you receive notification of an impending NMC investigation, it is essential to get expert legal advice at the earliest opportunity to help you conduct the strongest possible defence should the matter go on to be referred to a Professional Conduct Committee.
The nature of an NMC investigation will depend on the type of complaint. This may include NMC Case Examiners collecting evidence from the complainant and other parties, including health records, carrying out assessments in relation to your health if this is relevant to the complaint, the collecting of witness statements from the complainant and witnesses, and collecting statements from your colleagues and employers. Following this, there will be a 28 day period for you to submit a formal response, which will be taken into account when a decision is made regarding the outcome of the investigation.
TheNMC Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith can provide you will expert guidance at this stage of the investigation, advising you on what information should be submitted to Case Examiners to support your position, and assisting you with your written response to the NMC’s findings. We can advise on the appropriate response giving consideration to your particular circumstances.
What happens after the Nursing and Midwifery Council has carried out its investigation?
After considering all the information put before them, the Case Examiners may decide that you have no case to answer, at which point the case will be closed. If it is decided that there is in fact a case to answer, it will be referred on the NMC’s Conduct and Competence Committee or Health Committee. Which committee deals with your case will depend upon the nature of the complaint. If the Case Examiners are unable to reach a conclusion, they will refer your case to the Investigating Committee in order that a decision is made.
You may be offered a consensual panel determination, whereby you are asked to agree to a provisional sanction or the placing of restrictions on your practice. In such circumstances, you will be asked to admit that your fitness to practice is impaired, to confirm that the allegations against you are admitted, and to agree to the NMC’s sanctions.
If you are asked to agree to a consensual panel determination, Wilford Smith’s solicitors can advise on the merits of reaching such an agreement. If you choose to reject a consensual panel determination, our team can assist you in taking your case before the NMC’s Professional Conduct Committee, and preparing for the subsequent hearing if you wish to do so.
If your case progresses to the Professional Conduct Committee and your fitness to practice is held to be impaired, the Committee has the power to:
- Impose a caution order, which will remain on your registration for a prescribed period
- Impose a conditions of practice order, which places restrictions on your registration for a prescribed period
- Impose a suspension order, suspending your registration for a prescribed period
- Impose a striking-off order, removing your name from the register
If you find yourself subject to a Professional Conduct Committee, the specialistNMC Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith can provide comprehensive advice, working on your behalf to ensure the strongest possible defence is made to the charges against you.
Why choose Wilford Smith?
Wilford Smith’s solicitors are experienced in advising clients in relation to investigations. We provide a service that is exceptionally strategic and results driven, ensuring that you are given clear, straight-forward and jargon-free advice throughout any NMC investigation. Our specialistNMC Defence Solicitors take pride in their reputation for unique representation, giving you a service that is exceptionally strategic and results driven.