Interim orders and fraudulent or incorrect entry allegations

Reference: INT-2a

Last Updated 12/10/2018

Overview

Back to top

In cases of concerns about the legitimacy of the nurse or midwife’s entry in the register, the Investigating Committee can make an interim order to restrict or suspend the nurse or midwife’s right to practise, while the concerns are being resolved.

In these circumstances, decision makers will take into account:

  • the public interest in maintaining the integrity of the register
  • proportionality
  • balancing the risk of serious damage to the reputation of the profession against the impact of the order on the nurse or midwife
  • the impact on the nurse or midwife for example this might include financial hardship if their practice is restricted or suspended, pending the final outcome.

If they consider that there would be serious damage to the public interest, due to the impact on the integrity of the register, the panel will identify the specific evidence of this.

Imposing interim orders during the investigation

Back to top

The Investigating Committee can impose either:

  • an interim suspension order or
  • an interim conditions of practice order.

The decision is dependent on the circumstances.

If the allegation raises public concerns, it may be necessary to make an interim suspension order to protect the public from the risk of harm.

If an individual is registered as both a nurse and a midwife, and concerns about fraudulent or incorrect entry relate to only one of their entries in the register, an interim conditions of practice order, to restrict the person from working, may be appropriate.

Court decisions1 have emphasised the need for Investigating Committee panels to consider if the integrity of the register could be properly maintained through sanctions imposed at the end of proceedings.

Imposing interim orders at the determination stage

Back to top

If the Investigating Committee finds an allegation of fraudulent or incorrect entry is proved and makes an order for removal any interim order that’s in place will lapse.

At this stage the Investigating Committee can impose another interim order to prevent the nurse or midwife from practising, until the order to remove their entry on the register takes effect.

This power is discretionary and should not be viewed as an automatic decision in every case. The Investigating Committee will consider the public interest in maintaining the integrity of the register in light of any order it has made.

1 See Christou v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2016] EWHC 1947 (Admin)

Want to download and print whole sections of this FtP library? Visit the downloads page.