We are holding our first round table panel discussion and we are very excited.
We all know we are working in exceptionally stressful times. Many of our existing group at NMCWatch have found themselves being investigated by the NMC after they raised concerns about their workplace. Some have experienced bullying at work which has led to high levels of stress which they believe led to the mistakes they made. The employer has often failed to fully investigate the context but instead referred the problem to the NMC to deal with.
The NMC has commenced an employer engagement program to educate employers on how to conduct investigations locally and only refer to them when there is an ongoing concern. This is a great step but we ask:
1. Will an employer not willing to address contextual elements really refer honestly?
2. What consequence is there to an employer that fails to investigate locally?
3. Does the FtP process add fuel to an already bullying culture?
4. Does the NMC have a duty of care to safeguard registrants who have raised patient safety concerns in the workplace?
Sandy Wilkie: Sandy has 8 years experience of working in health & social care in both England & Scotland. His main focus was on the staff/patient experience, organisational values, culture & leadership. His passion is helping create positive workplaces where employees feel supported, find meaning and can deliver their very best work. Sandy became a whistleblower on behalf of NHS colleagues last November. He has learned the value of working with quality journalists and elected politicians to expose management practices that harm staff and introduce patient risk.
1. Dr Umesh Prabhu who has supported many doctors through the GMC Fitness to Practice process. Umesh was previously a Medical Director for 15 years Consultant Paediatrician and GMC Adviser on Professional regulation and BME doctors. Now Director for International Recruitment and patient safety champion
2. Ian Hynes: CEO Intersol Global: Poor workplace investigations cost careers, livelihoods, and reputations, even lives. After a 30+ year career investigating serious and complex offences, Ian now applies those skills strategically as CEO of Intersol Global, a company training and qualifying, advising and conducting, workplace investigations and investigation meetings. Impartial, thorough, and fair workplace investigation case management sits at the very heart of his ethos
3. Francis Fernando, RN, BSc(Hons), Msc, Adv HCP. Filipino Nurses Association this group of healthcare workers as well as BAME has been shown to have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Both groups also appear to be disproportionately referred to the NMC.
4. Deborah Hughes, The Midwives Haven. Having qualified as a nurse in 1980 and as a midwife in 1982 she currently works as a research midwife at The University of Cambridge. She has worked as a hospital and community midwife, an independent midwife, a university teacher, a birth centre midwife, and a midwifery manager. Professional interests are women’s autonomy and midwifery autonomy, two sides of the human rights birth coin. I set up Midwives Haven (under the organisational umbrella of the Association of Radical Midwives) with Angie Barrett in 2017 after it became obvious that there was widespread misuse of professional regulation and that our professional regulator was more a career pathway for the legal profession than an effective guardian of public safety. We were aware of many midwives struggling with bullying, investigations, and NMC referral and that some midwives had taken their own lives when faced with the wall of Fitness to Practise. I believe a fairer, kinder, human rights-focused and more professionally insightful way of delivering professional discipline is possible and is urgently needed and we decided to take action to achieve this.
5. Annie Norman. RN, Whistleblower and campaigner. Annie has been a registered nurse since 1992 and in the last 10 years has experienced bullying as a nurse in the workplace, raising concerns over patient safety. In 2014 Annie whistle-blew and from 2012-2018 was a member of Patients First UK. This was a successful whistleblowing campaign group working between politicians and the legal world. She has also helped to highlight campaigning issues with respectable academic researchers to raise the profile for a review of the law that would safeguard protection for whistleblowers. Annie has studied the impact of bullying cultures on the nursing profession and impact on patient safety.
6. Vasanta Suddock (RGN, BSc Hons, BA Dip ) Whistleblower and campaigner: Whistleblower and campaigner. Referred to the NMC, Police, ISA, and DBS to be criminally charged and struck off the NMC, ISA/DBS register after she W/b against bank administrators in 2011. NMC tried to impose 2 x interim orders on her but she succeeded and then struck her off the NMC register in 2015. She appealed to the high courts and succeeded along with 20 other cases as a self-litigant at employment tribunals, NMC quasi-judicial & high courts, Police, DBS & ISA. She also represented and succeeded for other W/b who she worked with as they suffered the same reprisals. Sir Robert Francis QC used her high court judgment as 1st precedence EU case law and after this, Vasanta was invited by “Freedom To Speak Up-National Guardian Office” to join their “Advisory Working Group”. She has also submitted a 4-page data table illustrating the disproportionate outcomes between the NMC & GMC registrants between 2008-2019 to the APPG and IMMDS (Baroness Cumberlege) who then questioned the GMC. She has been fighting to change laws (Absolute Privilege & PIDA – Insolvency Act) via the EU since 2018. These laws are detrimental to all employees and regulatory registrants.
Other events. you may be interested in:
22nd April: Do unions work during FtP?
20th May: FtP the lost workforce