Interim orders

Reference: HEA-13b

Last Updated 28/07/2017

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Different issues will apply to interim order hearings when deciding whether to proceed in the absence of a nurse or midwife. This is because, in contrast with final hearings, where a panel will make findings of fact based on the evidence, interim order hearings require panels to conduct an immediate risk assessment.

To proceed in the absence of a nurse or midwife, an interim order panel must be satisfied that all reasonable efforts have been made to serve the nurse or midwife with notice of the hearing.1

If the nurse or midwife has informed us that they do not wish to attend the hearing the panel should proceed with the consideration of the interim order.2

If the nurse or midwife has not attended or given any representations, we will generally still ask a panel to consider imposing an interim order. We do this because the overarching purpose of the fitness to practise function is to protect the public.3 We will have referred a case for interim order consideration because of identified risks that indicate that an order is necessary for the protection of members of the public or is otherwise in the public interest or the nurse or midwife’s own interests. Referring a case for interim order consideration as soon as possible makes sure that we are properly fulfilling our legal duty.

When considering whether to proceed in the absence of the nurse or midwife, the panel should consider the nature of the allegation and our primary function of protecting the public and balance this with whether reasonable efforts have been made to serve the notice on the nurse of midwife.

1 Rule 8(6)(a) of theNursing and Midwifery Council (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2004 ('the Rules')
2 Rule 8(6)(c) of the Rules
3 Article 3(4) of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001