In 2014, KB referred himself to the NMC after being suspended from work following discrepancies found in medication stock.
Over a long period of time, he had developed an addiction to medication which culminated in him being suspended from work and an NMC investigation ensued following his self-referral. Represented by the RCN he was given an Interim Conditions of Practice Order and continued to work as a bank nurse complying with the conditions of not handling medication without another member of staff.
His case was then heard at an NMC hearing nearly a year later, where he was struck off the register. The NMC stated that although he showed some insight it was not sufficient to allow the panel to be content there would be no repetition. They felt he blamed others and was unable to take full responsibility. On his journey home from the hearing he admitted to himself his addiction problem and decided to get help.
We met KB in 2020 when he wished to apply for restoration to the nursing register. With the support of a clinical mentor, he was able to develop his insight further and reflect fully on all that had occurred in the period leading up to his strike-off. He was able to provide testimonials to show that his behaviour had improved and that he had dealt with his addiction issues. We helped him understand the reasoning behind the NMC decision-making and why the order was necessary. Once he fully understood this he could then look constructively to see how he could demonstrate that there would never be a repetition of his previous actions. He also worked with someone in NMCWatch who has his own personal experience of being restored following similar circumstances. Being matched with someone like this meant honest conversations could occur between the two of them as his mentor fully understood the psychology behind addiction and recovery. They could then explore the challenges that would be faced and how he may deal with them.
We were thrilled when the panel agreed that he could be restored to the register subject to a Return to Practice course. His employer was willing to support this next step and provided references and testimonials to attest to this.
One of our group has explained the response to allegations of addiction needing to acknowledge that:
” none of us can say we won’t have a drink or take drugs again… we would be lying if we said that… what we can say is today I have no intension to do so and if tommorrow I feel I might, then I know what to do and who to go to ( my sponsor ) to stop me doing it… recovery succeeds.”