How does the voluntary removal process work?

Reference: HEA-7a

Last Updated 01/02/2018

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If a nurse or midwife applies for VR they can be removed from the register without the need for a full public hearing. This is only appropriate in circumstances when it is not in the public interest to hold such a hearing and the public and patients will be best protected by the nurse or midwife’s immediate removal from the register.

Decision makers need to be aware that VR is only allowed if:

  • the nurse or midwife accepts the details of the regulatory concern, and
  • the nurse or midwife provides evidence that they do not intend to continue practising.

A nurse or midwife can submit a VR application to us either before or during a substantive (final) hearing. VR applications are considered by the Registrar or the Assistant Registrar (‘the Registrar’). There is no limit on the number of times that a nurse or midwife can apply for VR, however, unless there has been a material change in circumstances it is unlikely that renewed applications for VR will be granted.

When a nurse or midwife makes an application for VR, we ask them to sign a ‘voluntary removal declaration form’ confirming their intention not to apply for readmission to the register sooner than five years from the date of the removal decision.

If the application is successful, we will amend our register so that ‘voluntarily removed’ is displayed against the nurse or midwife’s name. We will not publish any other details about the case if the VR decision is made before a final hearing.

When VR is granted during a hearing, we publish the VR decision as part of the panel’s reasons. The reasons remain on the ‘Latest hearings and sanctions’ page on our website for four months.

We may share the details of the regulatory concerns with potential employers and other enquirers on request indefinitely. The only exception to this is information relating solely to a nurse or midwife’s health.