Should our investigation proceed?

Reference: INV-6a

Last Updated 28/07/2017

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The starting position in all cases is that investigations into a nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise must take place without delay. There must be clear and compelling reasons for us to put an investigation on hold. When we do delay an investigation, we must be clear why we consider it is in the public interest for us to do so.

In some cases, the investigation by another organisation may mean that it is not possible or practical for our investigation to proceed. In other cases, our investigation may be possible, but there may be good reasons for us to wait and see what the outcome of the other investigation is.

Generally, our investigation can and should proceed unless one of the following conditions is met:

  • There is a real and significant risk that our investigation will prejudice the other investigation, and this has been confirmed by the organisation carrying out the other investigation. When this is the case, we will always give very careful consideration before disclosing information about other investigations which the nurse or midwife may not know about. How we do this is explained in our information handling guidance.
  • The fact that another organisation is carrying out its own investigation makes it impractical for our investigation to continue at the same time.
  • Putting our investigation on hold until the other organisation’s investigation is complete is likely to mean we can save significant time or costs because we can rely on the information the other organisation has gathered.

Where one of these conditions is met, we will consider whether it is possible for us to investigate other aspects of the case while the other investigation continues.