the FtP process – Step 1 of 7
Navigating FtP: the screening process explained
This video explains the role of the screening team. You will be assigned an NMC case officer at an early stage. During the screening stage the NMC determine if the allegations are
a) something that is of regulatory concern and if so
b) does it fulfilled their requirements to continue to examine.
- Determining the seriousness of the concern relevant to fitness to practise
- Checking if it meets the NMC’s formal requirements
- Checking whether the NMC can obtain credible evidence
- Checking for evidence of remediation
This is a short overview of the FtP process from defence barrister, Stephen McCaffrey.
Determining the seriousness of the concern
NMC’s formal requirements
- Must be written in a letter or an email
- Must provide sufficient detail about the individual nurse, midwife or nursing associate so that the NMC are able to identify them
- Must come from an identifiable person or organisation with agreement to us disclosing their referral to the nurse
- Must set out the nature of the concern, the events and circumstances giving rise to it complaint
- The referral must also be accompanied by supporting evidence – if there is no supporting evidence they will not take the case further. We are waiting for confirmation from the NMC as to the timeline they have set for closure. If you have not received a copy of any supporting evidence then challenge your screening officer for a timeframe and for case to be closed if this is not received. You can read more about this on the NMC’s own site.
There is no exhaustive list of evidence the NMC will consider but it gives the following as “Examples of useful supporting evidence”:
- a clear and logical narrative explaining the conduct which is being alleged
- dates of the incident(s) (including exact time and dates if possible)
- locations where the incident(s) took place (including name and address of the organisation, and specific wards or departments where possible)
- details of who was present (including patients, colleagues or any other witnesses)
- copies of contemporaneous notes and statements of anyone who witnessed the events alleged
- copies of medical records, MAR charts, prescriptions, which should be provided with the informed consent of the patients concerned if possible, or a clear indication as to why this has not been possible
- local policies
- details or documentary records of any admissions made by the nurse, midwife or nursing associate
- details of other sources of evidence in support of the allegation, where the evidence that can be provided by the referrer is limited.
Evidence of remediation
In the same guidance, the NMC says it expects a nurse, midwife or nursing associate to have reflected on the issues raised in the case and there is evidence of relevant retraining or learning.
How can I show I have remedied any issues?
“The worst thing that nurses can do, and what can happen if they don’t have legal representation, is bury their heads in the sand.
The best way is to engage with the process and provide evidence of fitness to practice.”