Our case examiners decide what should happen at the end of the investigation.
They are independent professionals who work in pairs. One is a nurse or midwife and one is a lay person, that is someone who is not a qualified nurse or midwife.
What do the case examiners do?
They’ll look at the evidence to see if it could show whether the nurse, midwife or nursing associate did something that might have put patients at risk of harm, or that it could show they did something so serious that it could affect the reputation of the nursing and midwifery professions.
They will also consider whether the evidence could show that the nurse, midwife or nursing associate lacks the necessary skills to practise safely.
Sometimes, even though something serious happened, the nurse, midwife or nursing associate might have shown that they can practise safely now, and that they understand that what they did was wrong.
In these circumstances, the case examiners can give the nurse, midwife or nursing associate some advice, a warning or ask them to agree to a plan to ensure they are safe to practise, or they may decide that the case doesn't need to be sent to a hearing and close the case instead. We call this no case to answer.
However if the case examiners think the nurse, midwife or nursing associate might not be fit to practise without restriction, they may decide to hand it over to the Fitness to Practise Committee.
Once they’ve finished looking at all of the evidence and information, they’ll write to you, the nurse, midwife or nursing associate and anyone else that might be part of the investigation to explain their decision.
What does the Fitness to Practise Committee do?
If your case is sent for a hearing then the people who make the decision are known as panel members. These are independent people who are appointed to the Fitness to Practise Committee.