22 April 2015
Successful appeal outcome for Professional Standards Authority
The Professional Standards Authority used its powers of appeal to challenge a decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the case of a nurse who failed to respond properly to complaints of rough handling, made by patients with dementia in a care home.
The High Court has agreed to quash the decision of the NMC’s Conduct and Competence Committee which will now have to be heard by a new panel. The NMC’s committee had found that the nurse was guilty of serious professional misconduct but decided the nurse was still fit to practise.
We told the Court we considered the NMC decision was unduly lenient and that it had failed to consider serious matters including that the nurse:
• attempted to discourage a colleague from reporting the patients’ concerns
• made offensive remarks about patients with dementia; and
• treated a note about safeguarding concerns as a piece of scrap paper. Read more
The Court accepted that the NMC’s panel should have considered these matters as demonstrating serious underlying attitudinal problem on the part of the nurse, which could affect his ability to care for elderly, and in particular elderly and demented, persons.
Harry Cayton, chief executive of the Authority said: ‘It is important that people with dementia are listened to and protected. We are pleased that the Court has agreed that the NMC should consider this case again’.
Christine Braithwaite, Director of Standards & Policy
DD: 0207 389 8039
Reception: 020 7389 8030
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Notes to the Editor
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are unduly lenient and it is in the public interest.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
- We do this to promote the health, safety and well-being of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
- Our values are at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are committed to being impartial, fair, accessible and consistent in the application of our values.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk