NMC defence lawyers for nurses and midwives

The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) is the largest healthcare regulator in the UK, with over 750,000 registered nurses and midwives. If you are a nurse or midwife accused of misconduct, the subsequent fitness to practise investigation by the NMC can be lengthy, anxiety-inducing, and hugely impactive on your career.

The NMC has the power to restrict your registration during an investigation. This restriction can immediately prevent you from working, and a final hearing may not happen for years. Therefore, it is essential to consider at an early stage whether it is in your interests to provide a written response and, if it is, to put in a carefully considered response.

Our experienced regulatory defence lawyers have successfully represented nurses and midwives in a wide range of investigations. These include allegations of poor performance, poor quality care, dishonesty, sexual offences, and more. We are also well-versed in handling large-scale investigations, effectively representing multiple nurses in a single case.

Any NMC fitness to practise investigation takes place in stages and the importance of early, expert advice cannot be overstated. Hempsons has experienced NMC defence solicitors across the UK who can provide legal and moral support throughout the process. Our expertise makes us the perfect choice for anyone facing NMC proceedings.

The screening stage: Assessing complaints and navigating legal tests 

At the outset of any NMC fitness to practise investigation there is a crucial screening stage. At this stage, the complaint is considered, and a legal test applied, to decide if it should be investigated further. 

The NMC may encourage you to comment, but this may not be in your best interests. It is essential to carefully consider anything you say, but also what you may choose not to say. We can advise and support you throughout the screening process.

Investigation and Case Examiners

If a case proceeds beyond the screening stage, there will be an investigation, which can take months or even years. The NMC’s Case Examiners will likely request your comments at the investigation’s commencement and conclusion.

Strategic considerations arise on whether, when, and what to communicate. Legal nuances become pivotal, and submissions may necessitate a more legalistic approach.

With our extensive expertise, we will guide you through these crucial matters and carefully draft any response. This can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case. Our track record demonstrates our ability to craft submissions that result in resolving investigations without a public hearing.

If the Case Examiners do not agree on how to dispose of your case, it will then be considered by an Investigating Committee. We are here to assist you in preparing for the committee and provide unwavering support throughout the process.

Interim Orders Hearings

Throughout the fitness to practise investigation process, there is a possibility of being summoned to an Interim Orders hearing at short notice. The purpose of these hearings is to determine whether any restrictions should be imposed on your NMC registration while the investigation is ongoing. These restrictions may include conditions of practice or even suspension from practice entirely. In such critical situations, seeking expert advice and having proper representation at the Interim Orders hearing is vital.

With our expertise and experience in fitness to practise investigations and hearings, we can help to minimise the likelihood of such restrictions being imposed on your registration.

NMC Fitness to Practise Committee Hearings

If your case has been referred for a substantive NMC Fitness to Practise Committee hearing, there are many steps which will need to be undertaken to build the strongest possible defence. Typically conducted in public (unless health-related), the FTP Committee holds the power to determine the validity of allegations against you, assess your fitness to practise, and decide on potential actions against your registration.

The potential impact of the hearing is therefore considerable, and it is important that you are ably represented by skilled and specialist NMC defence lawyers, which is where we come in. As well as undertaking all the preparatory steps, we work alongside high-quality, experienced barristers to provide you strong representation and help secure the best possible outcome at your hearing.

Contact us today for expert legal advice and representation

If you are a nurse or midwife facing a complaint or NMC fitness to practise investigation, we are dedicated to providing the help, support, advice and representation you need to get you through it. No matter the stage you are at in the process, we can help, so contact our team today.

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  • Chambers UK 2023
    “Adam Smith possesses a wealth of expertise in defending clients facing GDC, GMC and HCPC investigations into allegations of inappropriate behaviour, dishonesty and sexual assault. He is also noted for his representation of police officers facing claims of misconduct.”
  • Chambers UK 2023
    “He is a super solicitor – he’s incredibly organised and has a very calm manner with clients and litigation. His drafting and communication skills are excellent.”
  • Chambers UK 2023
    “Surjit Dubb is a skilled professional discipline expert who is called upon by a range of medical professionals for his abilities in disciplinary and regulatory issues. He offers experience in proceedings before the MPTS, GDC and a variety of wider governing bodies. ”
  • Chambers UK 2023
    “Surjit Dubb works really hard on the cases and makes a huge difference by going that extra mile.”
  • Chambers UK 2023
    “He provides brilliant client care. He goes above and beyond to ensure clients are supported throughout any process.”
  • Chambers UK 2023
    “Tania Francis is held in high regard for her defence of medical practitioners in GMC and GDC investigations. She is also adept at assisting with criminal proceedings and regulatory inquiries. ”
  • Chambers UK 2023
    “She is very hard-working, thoughtful and intelligent. She is very good at thinking out of the box.”
  • Legal 500 2022
    “Tania Francis is a qualified doctor and brings an invaluable perspective to any defence team.”