Clinical advice

Reference: SCR-1b

Last Updated 10/05/2021

Our decision-makers can ask for clinical advice at the screening stage. Clinical advice can, in many cases, be very useful in helping us make fair, well-informed decisions. However, it’s important to be clear what the purpose of seeking clinical advice is.

Clinical advice at the screening stage should be aimed at assisting the decision-maker to understand the nature of the concern raised. This is so that they can assess whether it could require us to take regulatory action to protect the public. The clinical advisor may suggest further enquiries (provided these enquiries are limited to issues that can be conclusively determined at the screening stage, such as determining what policies, guidance or training were in place at the time). The clinical advisor may also suggest areas where the person raising the concern should be asked to provide further clarification.

It is not the role of the clinical advisor:

  • to assist the decision-maker in resolving disputes of fact raised by the concern.
  • to express any view as to the strength of the evidence presented or whether there is likely to be a case to answer following referral to the Case Examiners.

The guidance in our library, needs to be read alongside our NMC Guidance during the Covid-19 emergency period. We have new rules that are in force during the period of  the coronavirus emergency that are relevant to how it applies.

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