When we revisit case to answer decisions
Once a case has been referred by the Case Examiners to the Fitness to Practise Committee there’s no power for us to review this decision.
However, we recognise that there are occasions when things go wrong in our process, and information we’ve been sent isn’t given to the Case Examiners to consider.
This might happen because of a human or technical error, and could result in a case being referred to the Fitness to Practise committee when it otherwise might not have been.
An example of this might be where the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate has provided a response, but this wasn’t given to the Case Examiners. This may contain evidence of insight, steps they've taken to strengthen practice and reflection which would have been directly relevant to the Case Examiners’ decision.
Although these situations are rare, when issues like this are identified it is important we put them right.
We might be able to do this in a number of ways, including:
- Referring the case back to the Case Examiners so they can revisit their decision in light of the information they should have seen;
- Applying to a panel of the Fitness to Practise Committee to offer no evidence, where appropriate;
- Allowing the case to continue to a final hearing, making sure the panel has all of the relevant information.
What we decide to do will depend on a number of factors, including how far the case has progressed before we identify the error, and what the fairest solution would be in all the circumstances.
Where the error has been identified quickly we may consider asking Case Examiners to consider the information they hadn’t been given, and make a new decision. The Case Examiners could still decide to refer all or part of the case to the Fitness to Practise Committee, or they may decide that in light of the available information there is no case to answer, or that a warning or undertakings are now appropriate.
Where the error has been identified later in our process, and the information indicates there is no case to answer for the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate, we may consider whether offering no evidence is a more appropriate solution. This means we’ll ask the panel of the Fitness to Practise Committee not to continue with the case.
In cases where the error is unlikely to have made a difference to the Case Examiners’ decision we may choose to continue with the case to hearing, ensuring that all of the relevant information is given to the panel.
Where information wasn’t seen by the Case Examiners because it was provided after the deadline for their consideration, this would be considered new information rather than an error.
In these circumstances it would not be appropriate for the Case Examiners to revisit their decision, but the Fitness to Practise Committee can take the information into account when it considers the case.
Want to download and print whole sections of this FtP library? Visit the downloads page.
Understanding Fitness to Practise
- Aims and principles for fitness to practise
Allegations we consider
- Allegations we consider - overview
- Lack of competence
- Criminal convictions and cautions
- Not having the necessary knowledge of English
- Determinations by other health or social care organisations
- Fraudulent or incorrect entry to the register
- How we determine seriousness
- Why we screen cases
- When we use interim orders
- Examining cases
- How we manage cases
- Meetings and hearings
- Resolving cases by agreement
- What sanctions are and when we might use them
Taking account of context
- Taking account of context - overview
- 1: We’ll approach cases on the basis that most people referred to us are normally safe
- 2: We’ll seek to build an accurate picture about the nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s practising history
- 3: We’ll always carefully consider evidence of discrimination, victimisation, bullying or harassment
- 4: Where risks are caused by system and process failures, we’ll concentrate on the action we can take to help resolve the underlying issues
- 5: In cases where a nurse, midwife or nursing associate was required to use their professional judgement we’ll respond proportionately
- 6: Evidence of steps the nurse, midwife or nursing associate has taken to address serious concerns caused by a gap in knowledge or training or personal context factors
- 7: We’ll always look into whether group norms or culture influenced an individual’s behaviour before taking action
- 8: Where an incident has occurred because of cultural problems, we’ll concentrate on taking action to minimise the risk of the same thing happening again
- What context factors we think are important to know about when considering a case
- Insight and strengthened practice
- Engaging with your case
Our overall approach
- Our overall approach - overview
The Three Questions we ask when making Screening Decisions
- The Three Questions we ask when making Screening Decisions - overview
- Do we have a written concern about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate on our register?
- Is there evidence of a serious concern that could require us to take regulatory action to protect the public
- Is there clear evidence to show that the nurse, midwife or nursing associate is currently fit to practise?
- Clinical advice
- Referrals to other regulators
- Referrers that wish to remain anonymous
- A decision not to take any further action at this time
- Determining the regulatory concern
- Cases that may involve incorrect or fraudulent entry
- Our overall approach
- Interim orders, their purpose, and our powers to impose them
- Decision making factors for interim orders
- Applications for interim orders
- Interim orders and multiple referrals
- Case Examiners
Preparing for the FtP Committee
- Reviewing cases after they are referred to the FtPC
- Why do we have guidance on charges?
- Jargon buster
- General approach
- How a charge becomes final
- Practical drafting issues
- Particular features of misconduct charging
- Drafting charges in health cases
- Other fitness to practise charges
- Multiple allegations
- Drafting charges in incorrect or fraudulent entry cases
- Documents panels use when deciding cases
- Gathering further evidence after the investigation
- Notice of our hearings and meetings
- Hearing fitness to practise allegations together
- Telephone conferences
- Preliminary meetings
- Considering cases at meetings and hearings
- Removal by Agreement
- Cancelling hearings
- Constitution of panels
- Proceeding with hearings when the nurse, midwife or nursing associate is absent
- Case management during hearings
- Hearings in private and in public
- When we postpone or adjourn hearings
- Supporting people to give evidence in hearings
FtP Committee decision making
- Consensual panel determination
- Offering no evidence
- Abuse of process
- Directing further investigation during a hearing
- Making decisions on dishonesty charges
- Agreed removal at hearings
- Deciding on incorrect or fraudulent entry
- Factors to consider before deciding on sanctions
- Considering sanctions for serious cases
- Available sanction orders
- Available orders for fraudulent or incorrect entry
- Interim orders after a sanction is imposed
- Directing reviews of substantive orders
- Reviewing case examiner decisions
- Interim order reviews
Substantive order reviews
- Substantive order reviews - overview
- Standard reviews before expiry
- Early review
- Exceptional cases: changing orders with immediate effect at a standard review
- Review of striking-off orders
- New allegations
- Reviewing orders when there may have been a breach
- Reviews where an interim order is in place
- Allowing nurses, midwives or nursing associates to be removed from the register when there is a substantive order in place
- Appeals and restoration