Applying the voluntary removal criteria to particular cases

Reference: CMT-5d

Last Updated 22/10/2019

How do we apply the decision-making criteria in practice?

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The decision to grant a VR application will depend on the particular circumstances of each case. There are different considerations that will apply to different types of cases; the type of concern will be a relevant factor.

Health

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VR is likely to be appropriate in certain cases where there are concerns about a nurse, midwife, or nursing associate's health, in the following circumstances:

  • The regulatory concerns relate to a nurse, midwife, or nursing associate’s long-term physical or mental health, and there are no serious unrelated conduct issues and

  • The nurse, midwife, or nursing associate accepts that their fitness to practise is impaired as a result of their health condition. The public interest may be best served by granting a VR application, even if the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate expresses a desire to seek readmission in the future should their health improve to an appropriate level;

Or

  • The regulatory concerns relate to a nurse, midwife, or nursing associate’s conduct or competence, but they wish to remove themselves from the register due to serious ill health. In these circumstances VR may be appropriate before a hearing starts.
  • The nurse, midwife, or nursing associate accepts that their fitness to practise is impaired as a result of the regulatory concerns.

  • Their serious ill health will be considered as a factor in favour of granting VR, even though it may not be the cause of concern with their practise.

If a nurse, midwife, or nursing associate is terminally ill, they may be unable to make any formal admissions, or participate in the process. These cases may be better dealt with under our cancellation of hearings process.

Lack of competence or not having the necessary knowledge of English

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VR may be appropriate when:

  • the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate accepts that their fitness to practise is impaired through lack of competence or through not having the necessary knowledge of English, and
  • the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate has already stopped practising and doesn’t intend to return to practice. VR may be appropriate in some circumstances where the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate intends to return to practise in another country where English language skills are not required, or at a time when they have improved their knowledge of English to the required standard.

Convictions or determinations from another regulatory body

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Cases where the concerns relate to convictions or determinations from another regulatory body are less likely to be appropriate candidates for VR if the seriousness of the conduct is fundamentally incompatible with being a registered professional .  

Misconduct

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Where allegations of misconduct are the main concern, a decision to grant VR will need to take into account the overall seriousness of the misconduct.

Where the misconduct is so serious that it’s fundamentally incompatible with being a registered professional, the Registrar is unlikely to grant a VR application. The Registrar will take into account our guidance on seriousness, as well as our guidance on sanctions, when making their decision.

Serious concerns which we consider more difficult to put right are more likely to result in the most restrictive sanctions such as a striking-off order.

Examples include sexual misconduct, or causing deliberate harm to patients. There may also be cases where we need to take regulatory action to maintain public confidence in the profession. In these types of cases VR is less likely to be granted by the Registrar.

Where the misconduct is less serious, or could be remedied if the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate did not wish to stop practising, then the Registrar may be more likely to grant VR.

More than one type of concern

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If it’s alleged that the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate’s fitness to practise is impaired because of more than one type of concern, the Registrar will need to look at all of the concerns together and decide whether VR is appropriate.

An overall assessment of the seriousness of the concerns will be made, applying each of the relevant considerations above. If the case includes allegations of a serious nature where the likely outcome is a striking-off order, then the Registrar is unlikely to grant a VR application.

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