Deciding whether there is a case to answer
We will send all the evidence you have provided to the nurse or midwife concerned, and they will be given the opportunity to respond in writing. The allegations will be considered by a panel of the Investigating Committee, together with all the supporting information.
The Investigating Committee panel:
- meets in private
- is made up of nurses, midwives and lay people outside these professions
- considers all the evidence, including evidence from the nurse or midwife who has been referred
- may ask for advice from experts
- may ask for further investigation to be undertaken, although we aim to conduct investigations prior to the Investigating Committee panel considering the case
- decides whether there is a case to answer and whether to refer the case to the Conduct and Competence Committee or the Health Committee
- can, if warranted, refer cases to interim orders hearings.
Fraudulent entries in the register
The Investigating Committee also deals with alleged fraudulent or incorrect entries in the register.
What action could the Investigating Committee take?
In addition to asking for further investigation to be undertaken, the Committee may also invite employers to respond to any particular points the nurse or midwife may have raised in their defence, or initiate medical investigations (for example, drug or alcohol testing).
Is there a case to answer?
The panel of the Investigating Committee has to decide whether there is 'a case to answer'. This means the panel must be reasonably satisfied both that the facts of an allegation are capable of being proved and that, if proved, those facts could lead to a finding that the nurse or midwife's fitness to practise is impaired.
If the panel finds there is no case to answer it will close the case. If it finds there is a case to answer, it will refer the case either to the Conduct and Competence Committee or to the Health Committee.
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