Multiple allegations

Reference: HEA-1h

Last Updated 28/07/2017

Print

In some situations it may be necessary to allege that a nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise is impaired for more than one of the reasons set out in our governing legislation.

For example, a nurse or midwife may be charged with impaired fitness to practise by reason of misconduct and also by reason of a conviction or caution. As a general rule, the conviction or caution should usually be pleaded separately from and after the misconduct allegation. This is because a panel can only have knowledge of a conviction or caution once the misconduct allegations have been factually determined.

The assertion that the nurse’s fitness to practise is also impaired by reason of a conviction or caution should appear on a separate page. It should make clear that it is not to be seen by the panel until after its determination of the facts relevant to misconduct. For example:

“That you, a registered nurse:

On 1 January 2016 failed to administer insulin to Patient A as prescribed.

Your actions as set out at charge 1 contributed to the death of Patient A. And in light of the above, your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your misconduct.

CONVICTION CHARGE – NOT TO BE SEEN BY PANEL UNTIL AFTER DECISION ON CHARGES 1 AND 2

That you, a registered nurse:

On the 1 January 2016 at the Oxford Crown Court were convicted of one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to s47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

And in light of the above your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your conviction.”

There will be specific cases where the misconduct itself arises out of the fact that a nurse or midwife has a criminal conviction or caution, and has failed to disclose this to their employer or to us. In such cases it will not be desirable or possible to separate the two grounds of impairment, and it will be necessary to refer to both the conviction and the alleged misconduct within the body of the charge.

In some cases there may be evidence to support an allegation of impaired fitness to practise by reason of lack of competence and also of impaired fitness to practise by reason of misconduct, such as dishonest behaviour. In those circumstances, the charge will specifically allege which charges amount to a lack of competence and which charges amount to misconduct:

“…and your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your lack of competence as set out in charges 1- 6 above, and your misconduct as set out in charges 7-8 above.”