News

NMC disciplinary allegations to stay private until hearings

Allegations against nurses and midwives will no longer be made public ahead of disciplinary hearings, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has said.
NMC hearing

Allegations against nurses and midwives will no longer be made public ahead of disciplinary hearings, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has said.

The NMC, which was criticised over its handling of the charges against Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey, has decided to no longer publish allegations on its website.

An NMC spokeswoman said the location of where the hearing would be held and the headline charge such as whether the case was about misconduct or lack of competence would be published a week before the hearing.

Allegations remain private until hearings begin

Full charges will be read out at the start of disciplinary hearings and will then be circulated only upon request.

The move means members of the public and the media will be prevented from reading the charges in

Allegations against nurses and midwives will no longer be made public ahead of disciplinary hearings, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has said.

NMC hearing
NMC in session at a hearing. Picture: Charles Milligan

The NMC, which was criticised over its handling of the charges against Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey, has decided to no longer publish allegations on its
website.

An NMC spokeswoman said the location of where the hearing would be held and the headline charge – such as whether the case was about misconduct or lack of competence – would be published a week before the hearing.

Allegations remain private until hearings begin

Full charges will be read out at the start of disciplinary hearings and will then be circulated only upon request.

The move means members of the public and the media will be prevented from reading the charges in advance.

Ms Cafferkey was cleared earlier this month of professional misconduct following an investigation by the NMC.

She was accused of concealing her high temperature on returning to the UK from Ebola-hit Sierra Leone in
2014.

During a two-day hearing in Edinburgh, the NMC said Ms Cafferkey had allowed an incorrect temperature to be recorded by Public Health England's screening facility at Heathrow airport.

But a panel dismissed the charges after hearing she had been affected by the illness. Another charge of dishonesty was withdrawn.

Details of draft charges against Ms Cafferkey emerged in August and the final charges were published later.

Fairness to all parties

Ms Cafferkey said the NMC apologised for mistakenly releasing the allegations on its website ahead of the hearing.

The NMC spokeswoman said: 'As an organisation committed to continuous improvement, we are constantly reviewing our processes.

'Following feedback from our stakeholders and advice from the Information Commissioner, we have taken the decision to no longer publish detailed draft charges ahead of the hearing.

'These changes will help to ensure fairness to all parties as charges at pre-hearing stage may be subject to change.'

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs