Suspension order

Reference: SAN-3d

Last Updated 12/10/2018

This order suspends the nurse or midwife’s registration for a period of up to one year and may be appropriate in cases where the misconduct isn’t fundamentally incompatible with the nurse or midwife continuing to be a registered professional, and our overarching objective may be satisfied by a less severe outcome than permanent removal from the register.

A suspension order is usually reviewed before it expires. The nurse or midwife may not practise as a registered nurse or midwife during the period the order is in force.

Key things to weigh up before imposing this order include:

  • whether the seriousness of the case require temporary removal from the register?
  • will a period of suspension be sufficient to protect patients, public confidence in nurses and midwives, or professional standards?

Use the checklist below as a guide to help decide whether it’s appropriate or not. This list is not exhaustive:

  • a single instance of misconduct but where a lesser sanction is not sufficient
  • no evidence of harmful deep-seated personality or attitudinal problems
  • no evidence of repetition of behaviour since the incident
  • the Committee is satisfied that the nurse or midwife has insight and does not pose a significant risk of repeating behaviour
  • in cases where the only issue relates to the nurse or midwife’s health, there is a risk to patient safety if they were allowed to continue to practise even with conditions
  • in cases where the only issue relates to the nurse or midwife’s lack of competence, there is a risk to patient safety if they were allowed to continue to practise even with conditions

When considering seriousness, the Fitness to Practise Committee will look at how far the nurse or midwife fell short of the standards expected of them. It will consider the risks to patients and to the other factors above, and any other particular factors it considers relevant on each case.

When making a suspension order the Fitness to Practise Committee may wish to explain clearly what expectations it has, or what actions the nurse or midwife could take that would help a future Committee reviewing the order before it expires.

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