Are you a nurse of midwife previously registered with the NMC whose name has been either removed or struck off the nursing register, do you want to reapply to be admitted to the register? Our Charlotte Ellis explain the process and why it is important to seek advice from a specialist lawyer in the area before embarking on the restoration process.
When can you apply to be readmitted to the NMC Register?
You can apply for restoration to the nursing register if your name was either:
- removed or was ‘struck off’ the register
- if your fitness to practise was deemed to have been impaired by a fitness to practise panel
- if a period of 5 years has elapsed since the order removing your name from the register came into effect.
The date on which the order comes into effect may take into account any appeal period so it is important to know when the order came into effect before an application for restoration is issued.
For example, if an appeal was issued by the nurse or midwife following a striking off order imposed by an NMC fitness to practise panel and the appeal was unsuccessful, the striking off order may not come into effect until the decision of the appeal court is made.
If the nurse or midwife is ready to apply for restoration, this can be done on an application form, which is then submitted to the NMC.
How do I apply to be readmitted to the NMC Register?
Initially an application form is completed and is sent to the NMC and processed by them. It is crucial that the form is completed correctly and it will need to include details of three referees.
Do I need legal advice to apply to be readmitted to the NMC Register?
The information provided on the application form is important and you might want to seek legal advice to guide you through the application process and to ensure that you do not write anything on the application that could prejudice your case.
What happens once my application is sent to the NMC?
The case will be allocated to a case officer who will send the registrant a summary of the allegations that were found proved at the original fitness to practise panel hearing. A copy of the same summary will also be sent to the three referees that the registrant has included in the application form. A hearing date will then be set so that a fitness to practise committee panel can make a decision as to whether or not the registrant’s name ought to be restored to the nursing register.
What happens at a fitness to practise committee panel hearing?
At the hearing the committee who consider the application for restoration are bound by the decision of the original fitness to practise committee. As such, this is not an opportunity for the registrant to argue the facts of the original case again, another reason why it is important that you seek representation.
The panel will want to explore what went wrong in the past and what could happen in the nurse or midwife’s future practise. The registrant has an opportunity to put their case for restoration forward which usually leads to you giving evidence before the panel committee.
At the end of the hearing, the fitness to practise committee will then find one of the following outcomes:
- Restore the registrant’s name to the nursing register subject to additional training or educational needs identified, after successful completion of which the registrant will need to complete the readmission process.
- Refuse the application for restoration
- Impose a conditions of practice order on your registration for up to three years which will come into effect once the nurse of midwife has successfully completed the additional training/educational needs and the readmission process.
Fitness to practise committee panel hearings are a specialist area of law and it is crucial that a nurse or midwife wishing to apply for restoration to the NMC register and who is seeking legal advice ensures that they obtain specialist legal representation from a lawyer with experience in this area. This will ensure that their application and case is prepared properly, the right evidence is obtained and submitted and that the nurse/midwife themselves knows what is expected of them when they give their evidence at the hearing.
Charlotte Ellis Burton Copeland
Charlotte is a specialist regulatory lawyer who for over 10 years has defended healthcare professional at all levels and has extensive expertise in disciplinary investigations, inquests, criminal offences and fitness to practise matters.
If you are a nurse or a midwife wishing to apply for restoration to the NMC register please contact us today so that we can help.