Final hearings

Reference: HEA-13a

Last Updated 28/07/2017


At final hearings, the panel will first consider whether all reasonable efforts have been made to serve the notice of hearing on the nurse or midwife. This should be considered with reference to the requirement on the nurse or midwife to engage with us in relation to their investigation and provide us with an address for correspondence.

When deciding whether to proceed in the nurse or midwife’s absence the panel must exercise care and caution. Fairness to the nurse or midwife is a prime consideration. However, fairness to the regulator and the interest of the public should also be taken in to account. Panels should remember that there is a difference between criminal proceedings and regulatory proceedings. As a regulatory body we do not have the power to enforce attendance at our hearings.

The panel should have regard to all of the circumstances of which they are aware, and consider the following principles.1

  • The public interest in the expeditious disposal of the case.
  • The inconvenience to any witnesses that have attended or due to attend.
  • Whether the nurse or midwife has engaged with the proceedings and their reasons for non-attendance (this should include whether the reason for non-attendance is supported by independent evidence).
  • The unfairness to the nurse or midwife if the proceedings were to continue, for example, they will not have the opportunity to question evidence or provide their own evidence to the panel in person
  • Whether it is fair, appropriate and proportionate to proceed in the nurse or midwife’s absence.

If the Panel decides not to proceed in the absence of a nurse or midwife they will consider whether to postpone the hearing.

1 R. v Jones (No.2) [2002] UKHL 5 and most recently GMC v Adeogba; and GMC v Visvardis [2016] EWCA Civ 162