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Nurses and Midwives

Fitness to Practise

The Nursery and Midwifery Council (NMC) may review your fitness to practice for a number of reasons. The severity of what you have been accused of naturally affects the severity of the punishment.

What Can Affect a Nurse or Midwives’ Fitness to Practice?

If a nurse or midwife is determined to meet the following criteria, then the NMC may call into question their fitness to practice:

  • Accused of misconduct.
  • Lacking incompetence.
  • Possessing a criminal conviction.
  • Debilitating physical or mental health.
  • Findings of another relevant body.

If you meet any of these criteria, then the NMC may carry out a further investigation which can lead to any punishment between the event being merely noted, to being struck off the register entirely.

Nurse/Midwife Accused of Misconduct

If you are a medical professional which has been accused of misconduct, then the NMC will carry out an investigation into whether the allegations are warranted. If they determine that they are, then they will also issue some form of order to address the situation.

If the supposed wrongdoing does not affect patient safety, then the event may just be recorded.

If the action is not particularly severe but requires that you take further training, then your progress will be monitored.

If the allegations determine that you are not fit to practice, but it is not fundamentally incompatible with your role as a nurse or midwife, then you may be suspended.

If the allegations are severe and directly impede your fitness to practice, then you will be struck off the register entirely.

NMC Lack of Competence

Nurses and midwives are under an intense amount of strain, and one mistake or error is unlikely to put your job in danger. However, consistently poor performance and low standards of practice will result in repercussions.

If the NMC is notified of your inability to perform in your role effectively, then a hearing into your competence may take place. This usually would mean if the nurse or midwife in question has shown a consistently poor lack of knowledge, awareness, skill, or judgement.

NMC Criminal Convictions and Cautions

If you have received a criminal conviction in the past, then you have to declare this to the NMC either when applying to join the register, or if you are already on it. Many crimes will not be investigated, but others will if they could affect your fitness to practice.

If the crime in question took place in your private life, then it is unlikely to have an effect on your career. However, if it involves a patient, then it will be seriously considered. A panel may then investigate your ability to practice as a nurse, and you should examine legal defence.

NMC Physical and Mental Health

Having a problem with your physical health, or poor mental health likely does not mean that your ability to practice as a nurse or midwife will be affected. However, there are cases where it will be, and the NMC will have to carry out an investigation to determine to what extent your fitness to practice has been compromised.

When this is brought to the attention of the NMC, they will create an investigatory panel. In order to give yourself the best chance of remaining in your role, it is crucial you seek legal advice and defence.

Get in Touch

Just because allegations of one kind or another have been made against you does not necessarily mean your career should be in jeopardy. It may be the case that any charges are unfounded, the investigation was not conducted properly, or that it is simply irrelevant to your fitness to practice.

Oracle Law has a proud history of representing medical professionals. With our professional defence, we will make sure that you have the very best chance of receiving a favourable result.

To discuss your case today, give us a call on 0141 332 0915 or e-mail us at

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