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Authority reaches decision in Lockett case

The Authority has reviewed the recent decision by the Fitness to Practise panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council about Helen Lockett. Ms Lockett was Director of Operations and Executive Nurse at the Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust between 2011 and 2014. She faced a number of serious allegations about her conduct while in that post. The NMC’s panel found a number of the charges proved and imposed a sanction of a suspension for 12 months with a review to consider whether, at the end of the 12 months, she was fit to return to practise.

The Authority has the power under Section 29 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 to refer decisions by fitness to practise panels to the courts if it considers that the decision was insufficient to protect the public.

The Authority considered this case at a Case Meeting on 20 April 2020. It decided not to refer the case to the courts because, having regard to all the facts in the case and the panel’s findings, it could not be satisfied that the panel’s decision to impose the second most serious sanction available to it and which had the effect of preventing the registrant from practising until she has satisfied the panel that she is fit to practise, was insufficient to protect the public.

You can read the record of the case meeting and the full reasons for its decision here.

Find out more about our power to appeal final fitness to practise decisions here.


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Contact: Christine Braithwaite, Director of Policy and Standards

Reception: 020 7389 8030 | Email:

Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. 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 insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. 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.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at