NMC will hold ‘virtual’ Fitness to Practise hearings

During lockdown Fitness to Practise hearings only took place where there was an immediate risk to public safety.

Laura Townsend
4 September 2020
nursing and midwifery council

The hearing participants and the complexity will decide if a virtual hearing can take place.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has published information on how it will safely and fairly resume Fitness to Practise (FtP) hearings from 14 September 2020.

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Some FtP was paused, complying with lockdown measures and supporting nursing and midwifery professionals with the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, only managing those with an immediate risk to public safety.

But with restrictions easing, a gradual resumption of other FtP work is starting.

There will be a limited number of spots available for physical hearings in order to maintain social distancing, so virtual hearings will be used in some cases.

The view of the hearing participants and the complexity of the case will decide whether to hold it virtually or in person.

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Where a physical hearing is required additional safety measures will include staggered start times for hearings, one-way systems throughout the building, screen partitions in hearing rooms, and enhanced cleaning arrangements.

Emma Broadbent, Director of Professional Regulation for the NMC, said: “Keeping everyone safe while ensuring the process remains fair is our top priority.

“While we’ve been able to continue some of our hearings virtually during the pandemic, I’m thankful to colleagues who have worked so hard to develop robust safety measures in line with the latest Government guidelines, which will allow us to resume those cases that need a physical hearing.”

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