The joint hearing

Reference: HEA-4c

Last Updated 28/07/2017

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In a case where allegations against two or more nurses or midwives are to be heard at the same hearing, we will consider what material we have received from one nurse or midwife needs to be disclosed to the other, applying our test for disclosure of unused material.

Panels should consider how any risk of unfairness can be managed in a hearing. For example, joining cases may lead to a hearing becoming unduly long and complicated. This may affect the nurse or midwife’s ability to attend or be represented throughout the hearing. Panels should manage cases in a way that is fair for everyone.1

Panels should consider the evidence against each nurse or midwife separately, even though the cases may be heard together. If a panel hears evidence about one nurse or midwife that is inadmissible and prejudicial against the other, it will exercise its judgment as a professional panel and disregard any irrelevant material. It will decide the case fairly on the evidence before it, having been advised by the legal assessor of the proper legal approach.2 In rare circumstances it may not be possible to disregard the irrelevant material due to the exceptionally prejudicial nature of it and the panel should consider whether it is appropriate to continue.3

1 R (O’Brien) v General Medical Council [2006] EWHC 51 (Admin)
2 R (on the application of Mahfouz) v General Medical Council [2004] EWCA Civ 233, White and Turner v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2014] EWHC 520 (Admin)
3 See paragraph 28 of R (on the application of Mahfouz) v General Medical Council [2004] EWCA Civ 233