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Fitness to Practise: NMC clears nurse accused of dishonesty

Nurse recounts how stress of long investigation led them to a ‘nervous breakdown’

Nurse recounts how stress of long investigation led them to a ‘nervous breakdown’

A nurse has described the emotional impact of a three-and-a-half-year-long Fitness to Practise (FtP) investigation, which eventually found the fault lay with their employer.

The nurse, who wants to remain anonymous, was reported to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in 2017, accused of failing to undertake diabetic foot assessments while working as a locum practice nurse.

The practice also claimed the nurse, who has nearly 40 years’ experience, made computer logs that full assessments had been carried out when they had not. This allegation led to a charge of dishonesty.

Nurse recounts how stress of long investigation led them to a ‘nervous breakdown’

Fitness to Practise: Nursing and Midwifery Council finds no case to answer for locum nurse accused of dishonesty

A nurse has described the emotional impact of a three-and-a-half-year-long Fitness to Practise (FtP) investigation, which eventually found the fault lay with their employer.

The nurse, who wants to remain anonymous, was reported to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in 2017, accused of failing to undertake diabetic foot assessments while working as a locum practice nurse.

The practice also claimed the nurse, who has nearly 40 years’ experience, made computer logs that full assessments had been carried out when they had not. This allegation led to a charge of dishonesty.

Employer did not offer nurse appropriate IT training

The nurse – who was permanently employed by another practice during the investigation, and still is – told Nursing Standard the charge of dishonesty was particularly stressful: ‘I had a complete nervous breakdown and had to go off work because I wasn’t coping,’ they said.

After the FtP investigation, the nursing regulator decided that the nurse did carry out the necessary assessments and, where incorrect computer notes were logged, it was because the practice did not offer appropriate IT training.

The nurse said: ‘The NMC should say: “We are sorry we dragged you through this.” All nurses should have a personal apology if they have no case to answer.’

NMC failed to meet acceptable FtP standards on case times

Recently, the NMC’s own regulator, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) revealed that the NMC had failed to meet an acceptable standard on the time taken to bring FtP cases to a fair conclusion.

The PSA pointed to a growing backlog with 1,556 cases stretching back more than a year, compared with 950 at the time of a previous review the year before, as well as lengthening procedure times.

The NMC’s interim executive director of professional regulation Tom Scott said the organisation recognises delays to investigations have an emotional impact. ‘We’re sorry for any distress this causes,’ he added.


Find out more

NMC Fitness to Practise Investigations Guide


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