Late one morning my mobile went. It was Kenny we’d never met but he had found one of our cards at the NMC hearing centre and wondered if we could help.
Kenny was attending a restoration hearing – this is a hearing to see if you are able to be returned to the register after strike-off. Kenny was unprepared for what was expected and as he had no legal support, the legal assessor paused the hearing and advised him to ask for an adjournment so he could seek more guidance.
Kenny was candid about his past issues – he had reached a crisis point in his private life which had overspilt into his professional one. However, he had worked hard over the last few years to rectify these problems and it was apparent from speaking to him that, with a little help, he deserved a second chance. We helped Kenny learn what the panel would be expecting at a restoration hearing and what he needed to show to give them confidence he no longer posed a risk to the public. By talking to others in the group he was able to build his confidence in the process and present himself positively at his new restoration hearing.
Kenny was allowed to return to the register subject to a Return to Nursing course. Course completed, he is now enjoying his role in a speciality loves.
Kenny has gone from strength to strength since getting back on the register. He is now our Safeguarding Lead ensuring everyone we are in contact with is not harmed by our involvement and acting as a mediator when we feel we may not be the best people to support an individual.
You can read more about his story here. He is keen to help us raise awareness of the issues people face when going through investigations and highlights in an interview with The Nursing Times that his situation was far from unique and that his story could have ended very differently.
He is a fantastic example of how, given the right support and right insight, nurses and midwives previously excluded from the register can return to the profession as valued members of the profession. Kenny also supports members of our group who are struggling with addiction issues similar to his own. He has also assisted a couple of members with their own restoration process.
“I never realised the enormity of it all, I thought I was removed from the register in isolation… I felt very alone.. very ashamed.. now I realise how many people lose everything and have their lives turned upside down … by a simple accusation or mistake… and all before any guilt is determined. A pretty disgusting way for a professional body to treat nurses really.”
Kenny has also done a podcast for us recently, sharing his views on the process and how, as he has been back to work for a couple of years, he can reflect on the whole process.