Necessary to protect the public

Reference: INT-2a

Last Updated 28/07/2017

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For an interim order to be necessary for the protection of the public, decision makers must be satisfied that there is a real risk to patients, colleagues or other members of the public if an order is not made. It is not enough for the panel to consider that an interim order is merely desirable. Three factors are especially important to this consideration.

  • The seriousness of the regulatory concern. This will depend on how much harm the alleged conduct has already caused, or could have caused to the public. Cases that involve dishonesty, sexual misconduct, or where the actions of the nurse or midwife may have caused the death of a patient are usually considered more serious.
  • The likelihood of the alleged conduct being repeated if an interim order were not imposed. If the concerns in the case are serious and appear likely to be repeated, this significantly increases the risk of harm to members of the public.
  • Each case will be considered on its own facts. There may be other relevant factors when considering whether to make an interim order on public protection grounds.

Decision makers will evaluate the seriousness of the regulatory concern and the likelihood of it being repeated if an interim order were not in place. The seriousness of the concerns and risk of repetition are assessed with reference to the particular circumstances of each case. An assessment of the harm that was caused or could have been caused to the public by the alleged conduct will be vital when considering seriousness. This could include physical, mental, emotional or financial harm.

Consideration of how likely it is that the concerns could arise again in the future if the nurse or midwife’s practice was not restricted is crucial in assessing the level of risk the nurse or midwife presents to members of the public. Guidance on remediation and insight may help decision makers assessing the evidence of how likely the incidents are to recur.