Advice

Reference: CAS-2a

Last Updated 28/07/2017

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Purpose

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The purpose of advice is to give nurses and midwives private guidance to assist them in keeping their practice safe, following an acknowledged minor breach of the Code.

Thresholds

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Advice is appropriate in cases where the regulatory concern is not serious enough to found an allegation of impaired fitness to practice, and is likely to be most suitable in cases that relate only to minor breaches of the Code.

Our screening threshold requires that the concerns about a nurse or midwife’s practice would need to appear serious enough to call into question their fitness to practise before we would refer the case for investigation. Cases that only involve a minor breach of the Code (which could in theory be closed with advice), would not pass our screening threshold, and therefore, we would not open an investigation into a nurse or midwife’s practice for the sole purpose of giving advice.

The most common use of advice is in cases where a regulatory concern which would have been serious enough to appear to require restriction of a nurse or midwife’s right to practise, or a public declaration to protect confidence in the professions or uphold standards, has fallen away during the course of our investigation, leaving only minor breaches of the Code.

Because we do not publish advice, the key difference in thresholds between advice and warnings is that advice is given privately to the nurse or midwife to help them to avoid future incidents which could call into question their fitness to practise, but warnings involve a public record that is available to the nurse and midwife and members of the public.

Requirements

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Advice is not appropriate in cases where the nurse or midwife disputed the facts that formed the basis of the regulatory concern.

Content of advice

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The advice issued privately to a nurse or midwife is intended to remind them of their obligations under the Code, and where appropriate will signpost relevant guidance or standards that may help the nurse or midwife continue to practise safely in the future.