NMC comment on nurse charged with murder

Published on 13 November 2020

Read our response

Update: On Friday 20 November, 2020 an independent Fitness to Practise panel imposed an 18 month interim suspension order.

Commenting on the murder charge of nurse Lucy Letby, Emma Broadbent, Director of Professional Regulation for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, said:

“Throughout this criminal investigation, we’ve remained in regular contact with the Police and the Countess of Chester Hospital to ensure we were kept informed of developments.

“As Ms Letby has now been charged, this is a significant development that means we can move to take appropriate regulatory action regarding her nursing registration.

“We recognise the impact on the families involved in this situation has been heart-breaking and our thoughts are with them.”

Please see further information below that may be of interest.

What regulatory action are you taking?

A virtual interim order hearing, overseen by an independent fitness to practise panel, has been scheduled to take place on Friday 20 November.

All or part of the hearing may take place in private due to the ongoing criminal proceedings.  This will be decided by the Panel at the start of the hearing.

An outcome of this hearing will be published on our website shortly after the hearing has concluded.

What is an interim order?

Interim orders protect the public from risk by restricting or suspending a nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s practice while we investigate concerns about them, which an independent fitness to practise panel can consider and impose. See more details here.

Why don’t you provide any details, reasons or allegations for an Interim Order?

Interim orders (IO) are issued to protect the public by restricting or suspending someone’s practice while we investigate concerns raised about them.

We do not publish the reasons for an IO because the investigation is at an early stage, with no allegations proven yet. Full details regarding our approach to the publication of, fitness to practise information about nurses, midwives, and nursing associates on our register can be found here.

Why is that action in this case only being taken now?

Decisions around restricting an individual’s practice have got to be fair and evidence based.

In light of that, we apply to an independent fitness to practise panel to impose restrictions only when we have certain information to support the allegations being investigated - more about this here.

This information can be either be when we have some details about the underlying criminal evidence or a charging decision.

In this case we didn’t have details about the underlying criminal evidence to support the allegations. But now that charges have been confirmed by the police we can rely on those charges to proceed with appropriate regulatory action.

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