In this guide
What is disclosure?Back to top
It’s the process we follow during the investigation of a nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s case and means we provide them with the evidence we’ve obtained.
We provide it because:
- we’re going to rely on it to support our case
- it could undermine our case or support the nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s case
- it makes sure that the process is fair
- it makes sure that the nurse, midwife or nursing associate is given enough information to properly respond to the allegations against them
We may also provide them with evidence that we don’t intend to rely on to support our case. We call this ‘unused material’.
Is there any information that we won’t disclose?Back to top
We won’t disclose any material that’s subject to legal privilege. This means it contains confidential legal advice, or we could need to keep it confidential for other reasons.
When a nurse, midwife or nursing associate asks us to obtain evidenceBack to top
There are times when a nurse, midwife or nursing associate may ask us to obtain evidence on their behalf.
This is because we, as a regulatory body, have the power to request the disclosure of documents from organisations or people that the nurse, midwife or nursing associate may not be able to get themselves.
Our legal team will consider whether the request meets our criteria for disclosure.
Although we don’t have a duty to gather evidence asked for by a nurse, midwife or nursing associate, they do have a right to a fair hearing and so we’ll consider the following three criteria:
1. Is it relevant or essential?
A request for patient notes over a month period may not be relevant or essential if the allegation only concerns a medication error that occurred on one day. The nurse, midwife or nursing associate may need to explain why the requested material is essential for us to get.
2. What steps has the nurse, midwife or nursing associate taken to obtain the material themselves?
- have made attempts to get the information themselves before requesting us to get it for them.
- let us have the contact details of who to contact for us to make the request.
3. Are we better placed to obtain this material from the organisation or person that holds it?
It may be that because we have a statutory power to request information for the purposes of our investigation, we may be better placed to request the material than an individual nurse, midwife or nursing associate.
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