In May 2021 Miay was referred to the NMC by a member of the public.
She qualified in the UK in 2013, having been born in Japan she moved to the UK 20 years ago to follow her dream to become a nurse.
As many people do, she enjoyed an active social media life, utilising YouTube to send videos home to friends and family to show them what it was like living in the UK. This also included her experiences in nursing and discussing various aspects of UK healthcare that she thought her followers abroad would be interested to hear. She started the YouTube channel 2 years prior to her referral. None of the videos showed her place of work, any patients or any colleagues, filming in quiet areas of the hospital. The member of the public escalated a number of videos to the NMC stating there were a number over the period of approximately 12 months. The complaint was that this was unprofessional and brought the profession into disrepute.
The NMC initially took the referral and closed it at screening almost immediately, however, the referrer complained and so the NMC continued with an investigation.
When Miay found us she was very anxious about the referral. She had spoken in full to her manager who had helped her address the areas of concern, however, she was unsure of how to explain logically and clearly to the NMC that this was naivety rather than malpractice.
We enrolled her on our buddy program and gave her a case officer with her advocacy support. Lots of work was done with her to address the professional issues and help her realise where the areas of concern were for the NMC. After a number of sessions, she was able to show good learning as well as a thorough reflection process.
After 3 months her case was closed at screening. The NMC stated:
“Having reviewed all the documentation we have concluded that we don’t have evidence of a serious concern that could require us to take regulatory action against XXX to protect the public. We thank XXX and employer X for responding to our requests for information to assist us with our enquiries into the concerns raised.”
After 2 years and 10 months, the case was closed at screening with no further action.
This case study has shown the following lessons:
- Having an employer who supports you through the process is vital to show no current risk and appropriate remediation
- The NMC has a difficult role to not play when members of the public refer and the Fitness to Practice process can take a protracted amount of time to complete.
- Although closed at screening this case still took nearly 3 years to complete, which is excessive.
- The NMC need to find a swifter way of dealing with such referrals and be braver in closing earlier when there is no evidence of misconduct or current concerns over clinical practice.