22-07-2013

NMC Panel determination perverse and irrational

Johnson and another v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2013] All ER (D) 234 (Jul)

The appeal was welcome news in this case where the allegations in question dated back to 2003 when the nurses worked in a nursing home. Allegations of misconduct gave rise to an NMC Fitness to Practise investigation which in turn resulted in formal charges of misconduct being brought against them in 2007 and a full hearing to determine the matter took place between 2009 2011. The Professional Conduct Panel found two heads of charge found proven against one nurse and one head of charge found proven against the other.

It was considered, however, that no further action was appropriate in terms of ay disciplinary sanction. Both nurses applied for judicial review of the findings on the basis that on the facts and evidence, these findings were perverse and irrational.

The appeal was allowed. Whilst it is always a matter for the specialist tribunal to decide whether the conduct in question amounts to misconduct, on the facts here there was no evidence capable of supporting such a finding or the evidence in respect of the charge failed the reasonableness test. Accordingly the decision was flawed and unfair and were quashed.