Managing cases before the Fitness to Practise Committee

Reference: HEA-5

Last Updated 28/07/2017

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Our legal team will review the case after the case examiners have made the decision to send it to the Fitness to Practise Committee. They will consider the regulatory concerns identified and draft a charge detailing the particular facts in the case. This will be sent to the nurse or midwife.

We will also tell them:

  • which of the documents obtained through the investigation we will rely on at the hearing (the hearing bundle)
  • the number of days we expect a hearing to take
  • the witnesses we plan to rely on
  • how the witnesses’ evidence will be provided to the panel
  • whether we believe the case should be joined with any other.

Providing the nurse or midwife with this information gives them the opportunity to respond to us and tell us if they disagree with any of our decisions. This helps us resolve the case in a manner that best protects the public at the earliest opportunity.

The nurse or midwife can tell us whether they admit or deny any of the allegations as well as telling us of any other information that may help with our decision making on the case. For example, whether they are currently working or have retired, or whether the evidence we rely on is disputed. Once we understand the issues, we can then try to resolve them in advance of the hearing and prepare hearings in a proportionate manner. For example, if the nurse or midwife admits some of the allegations, it may mean we do not need some of the witnesses to attend the hearing to give evidence; this can reduce the length of time a hearing will run. Alternatively, if we know the nurse or midwife disputes the evidence of a particular witness, we can make sure that witness can attend the hearing to be cross examined on their evidence.

When preparing our cases, we consider whether there are any ways to conclude the case without the need for a full hearing. This may include consensual panel determinationvoluntary removal or the case being considered at a meeting.