In April 2021 Raj contacted us following a referral to the NMC.
Originally Raj had union representation from Unison. They withdrew this though, stating that she did not have sufficient cover on her payment scheme to give her full representation. She did appeal this decision but did not win, hence why she came to us for help and support with her case.
When we first met Raj, she told us that she had not been entirely honest with her previous employer and had resigned shortly after the events in question. These involved her working shifts whilst off sick. It was difficult for her to acknowledge the professional misconduct as she had worked, in her mind, due to the necessity of needing to pay bills, but didn’t appreciate that this was wrong. We worked hard with Raj, allocating her both a buddy and also one-to-one mentoring with a case worker from our Advocacy Programme. The caseworker highlighted the key areas where she had failed and guided her on how to start addressing these. Her buddy would then do more formal work with her to help her understand how she could show good remediation and learning and demonstrate to the NMC that this behaviour would never be repeated.
It was a difficult process for Raj, personally, but she was able to accept what she had done wrong and to truly be honest about the events that happened in her personal life, in order to reflect properly. Since then, she has been able to gain employment. This demonstrated good evidence that she was working without any additional risk for the NMC to be confident that these events were in the past.
In March 2023, two years after her referral, she received case closure with a warning. The warning will remain on her record for 3 years with the NMC having the ability to reopen her case if required, but effectively this means she can continue to work unrestricted.
This case study has shown the following lessons:
- The necessity of mentoring to enable understanding of the professional ramifications of your actions and to develop the necessary insight into how to improve.
- Unions can’t always provide the necessary level of support for registrants who will not then be able to engage properly with the process and achieve what is required.
- Lack of understanding of the ethics around this topic does not mean there isn’t an ability to change and improve.
- The two-year period to get to the outcome was necessary as it took a considerable amount of time for the registrant to understand her part in rectifying the situation.
- If the NMC had placed an interim suspension order in place she would have been unable to gain the new job she did during process. The new job made her feel confident and secure and supported so that she could completely understand her poor past behaviour, without fear of ramifications with the employer.
- The NMC could do more to educate registrants, particularly around contexts such as financial pressures when misconduct is experienced. If these financial pressures still exist, the registrant may be likely to repeat the behaviour if they aren’t helped to fully understand what they did wrong.