The Covid-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented level of demand on the nurses, midwives and nursing associates that we regulate.
At the start of the pandemic, we reduced contact with healthcare professionals to make sure they could concentrate on caring for people affected by Covid-19. We did, however, continue contacting frontline healthcare professionals where it's essential for immediate risk management.
Since July 2020, we've gradually increased our contact with healthcare professionals. We know that we need to keep the status of the pandemic under constant review and be sensitive to local situations.
Raising a concern about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate
If you have a concern about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate, it's always good idea to start by getting in touch with their employer first.
We understand that if you’re thinking about raising a concern with us, you have been and perhaps still are going through a difficult time.
Our new referrals helpline exists as an important first step if you’re considering raising a concern with us about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate. We can help explain more about who we are, whether we're the right place to come, how we can help you and most importantly, what support we can offer you.
By getting in touch with us, we can help you understand how to refer a nurse, midwife or nursing associate. Then, if you make a referral, we can better understand exactly what your concern is about and investigate it appropriately.
Call us on 020 3307 6802. Some calls will be recorded to help us train colleagues and monitor the quality of support we provide. We might use the recording to check details about fitness to practise referrals and complaints. There’s more information in our privacy notice.
Raise a concern about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate on the temporary register
Making a referral about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate will be different if they're on the Covid-19 temporary register or the permanent register.
If you do have a concern where we might need to take immediate action, please contact us as soon as you can.
Examples of concerns we want to know about immediately include:
- serious or repeated mistakes in patient care
- violence, sexual assault or indecency
- abuse of professional position, e.g. an improper sexual relationship with a patient
Our Emotional Support Telephone Line is still open 24/7. It's available for patients, families and anyone else involved in a fitness to practise case.
You can call them on 0300 303 3731 or visit Victim Support
Cases opened before the Covid-19 pandemic
We often need information from healthcare organisations and professionals to help us decide the outcome of a case.
At the start of the pandemic, we reduced our contact with healthcare organisations to make sure they could concentrate on caring for those affected by the pandemic which meant some cases progressed slower than usual.
However, since July 2021, we resumed contact with organisations that told us they were in a position to help us with our enquiries.
If you’re still waiting on a decision you can request an update from your case officer.
Attending a hearing during the Covid-19 pandemic
Our hearings are now being held both physically and virtually, and in some cases a mixture of both.
Observing a hearing
When hearings are conducted virtually it's not be possible for members of the public to observe hearings in the usual way.
We're instead able to make arrangements for audio access for those who wish to listen in to a virtual hearing. But we might have to limit the number of observers attending our virtual hearings so that we can make sure the hearing runs smoothly.
When we have to do this we will of course prioritise family members of others affected by a particular case.
All observers must agree to comply with our requirements in order to be granted audio access and should only have others present with them where we have those people’s names and where they have also confirmed with us that they comply with our requirements.
Given the limited capacity for observers, those wishing to observe our hearings must contact us, so that we can see whether attendance can be accommodated.
Whether attending virtually or in person, observers must not record hearings.
We might allow video access to our hearings from an observer’s own private setting. In order to decide whether to allow this, we may ask you why you can’t attend a hearings centre and why audio access would cause you difficulties. If we decide to grant video access from a private setting, you’ll need to give us your contact details and social media identities.
The rules relating to when a hearing should be held in public or private continue to apply to all types of hearings.
If we are holding the hearing at one of our hearings centres or external venue, you can request to watch the hearing in person, provided there are no travel restrictions in place.
- Support for patients, families and the public
- Who we are and how we regulate
- How we regulate and the types of concerns we look into
- Who you should raise a concern with
- What happens when we receive your concern
- Investigating your concern
- Examining cases
- Meetings and hearings
- How we reach an outcome and what to expect after a hearing
- Supporting you during our fitness to practise process
- Jargon buster