Once we receive a complaint about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate's practice, we need to look at the complaint in more detail and decide our next steps.

There are four stages of our screening decision, which are:

  • Step one: if the complaint is serious enough
  • Step two: if we have all the information we need
  • Step three: if we can get evidence to investigate the complaint and we can trust this evidence
  • Step four: if there is evidence that the nurse, midwife or nursing associate has shown that they've thought about what happened and taken steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

During the screening stage, we can decide to close the complaint at any of these stages.

At stage one, for instance, we look at if the complaint is serious enough to raise doubts about if someone should be allowed to practise as a registered professional.

An example of closing a case at stage one might bet that we decide we don't need to investigate a complaint about a clinical mistake, even if there has been harm to a patient. This could be because there is no longer a risk to patient safety, and the person on our register has been open about what went wrong and can demonstrate that they learnt from it.