04-04-2013

Nurse appeal allowed through fresh evidence

This is an unusual case of a successful appeal involving fresh evidence casting a new light on a conduct matter.

The case concerned a midwife appearing before NMC Conduct and Competence Committee and having allegations of misconduct found proven against her. She defended the allegations claiming that they were false and part of a conspiracy against her by hospital managers as she was a whistle-blower. There were some 12 allegations, found proven against her at a hearing which she did not attend. They included an allegation that she contacted a patient directly where that patient had made a complaint. Her fitness to practise was found to be impaired and she was struck off.

She appealed against the finding and produced a letter which she relied upon to confirm that she was advised to contact the patient directly in respect of the complaint. The NMC claimed that the letter was a forgery.

The appeal was allowed on the basis threw a completely different light on the charges against her and this was considered to be exceptional circumstances justifying the admission of evidence.

Similarly the suggestion that the document was false was a serious issue and one which potentially required evidence to be called upon it and potentially from an expert witness.

The appeal was therefore allowed and the case was remitted to the NMC for it to be heard by a fresh panel.