Are you a UK nurse or midwife with a legal issue?

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What We Do

NMC Legal Specialists

Why Choose NMC Defence Barristers?

In-depth knowledge of the NMC Code is just one of the vital attributes of our defence barristers. We provide an excellent nurses defence service which is specifically tailored to the needs of nurses facing complaints or allegations regarding fitness to practice. You will receive a legal service of the highest calibre. You will be kept informed with regular updates and as a result you will be in control of your own case.

Our barristers are cost-effective which is also one of the major benefits in the legal marketplace. You will be told the cost of pursuing your matter before you have to decide anything.

You will be aware that you have few options outside of Royal Colleges and your union. We have no limitations, are independent and have no allegiance to either them or the NMC. The service offered by our defence barristers places us at the forefront, with extensive legal knowledge and experience.

NMC Code

NMC defence barristers provide an excellent service which is specifically tailored to the needs of nurses facing complaints or allegations regarding fitness to practice."

What We Do

Our nurses defence service can assist you in the following areas:

Fitness To Practise

  • What to do if you have been referred to the NMC
  • Advice on the NMC investigatory process
  • Consensual Panel Determinations
  • Interim Orders Hearings
  • Advice, assistance and representation for hearings before the Fitness
    to Practise Committee
  • Appeals against the decisions of the NMC


  • Application for registration for nurses trained in the UK
  • Application for registration for nurses trained in EU of EAA
  • Application for registration for nurses trained outside the EU or EAA
  • Appeals against refusal of registration
  • Advice on declaring police charges cautions or convictions
  • Advice on voluntary removal from the register
  • Advice on re-admission to the register
  • Advice if your registration has lapsed
  • Advice on returning to the register after voluntary removal
  • Advice on returning to the register after a fitness to practise sanction

Complaints / Disciplinary Issues

  • What to do if a complaint is made against you
  • Internal investigations
  • Internal disciplinary hearings
  • Appeals against disciplinary hearing outcome

Why choose us?

We are experts in the field of healthcare disciplinary and regulation. Our barristers have the correct skills set, knowledge of the NMC Code and practical experience to assist and represent you.

Nursing CodeThe Code for nurses and midwives – NMC

Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives

The NMC Code sets out the standards that you must be aware of and adhere to when you practice as a registered nurse.

Prioritise People

  • Treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity
  • Listen to people and respond to their preferences and concerns
  • Make sure that people’s physical and social and psychological needs are assessed and responded to.
  • Act in the best interest of people always
  • Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality

Practice Effectively

  • Always practice in line with the best available evidence
  • Communicate clearly
  • Work cooperatively
  • Share your skills, knowledge and experience for the benefit of people receiving care and your colleagues
  • Keep clear accurate records relevant to your practice
  • Be accountable for your decisions to delegate tasks and duties to other people
  • Have in place an indemnity arrangement

Preserve Safety

  • Recognise and work within the limits of your competence
  • Be open and candid with all service users about all aspects of care and treatment including when any mistakes or harm have taken place
  • Always offer help if an emergency arises in your practice setting or elsewhere
  • Act without delay if you believe that there is a risk to patient safety or public protection
  • Raise concerns immediately if you believe a person is vulnerable, at risk and needs extra support and protection
  • Advise on, prescribe, supply, dispense or administer medicines within the limits of your training and competence, the law, our guidance and other relevant policies, guidance and regulations
  • Be aware of and reduce as far as possible any potential for harm associated with your practice

Promote Professionalism and Trust

  • Uphold the reputation of your profession at all times
  • Uphold your position as a registered nurse or midwife
  • Fulfil all registration requirements
  • Cooperate with all investigations and audits
  • Respond to any complaints against you professionally
  • Provide leadership to make sure people’s well-being is protected and to improve their experiences of the healthcare system

Additional Standards

  • Administration of Medicines
  • PREP Handbook
  • Midwives Rules and Standards
  • Standards for Competence for Registered Nurses
  • Standards of Competence for Registered Midwives
  • Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses
  • Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education
  • Standards of Proficiency for Pre-Registration Nursing Education
  • Standards for Pre-Registration Midwifery Education
  • Standards to support learning and assessment in practice
  • Standards for specialist education and practice
  • Standards for the preparation of supervisors of midwives
  • Standards of proficiency for nurses and midwife prescribers
  • Standards for adaptation to midwifery in the UK

Fitness To Practise

Fitness to practise requires a nurse or midwife to have the skills knowledge, good health and good character to do their job safely and effectively.

All nurse and midwives must follow the NMC Code of Conduct: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives.

Every nurse and midwife must revalidate every 3 years in order to demonstrate that they are fit to practise.

The NMC will investigate allegations of:

  • Misconduct
  • Lack of competence
  • Ill-health
  • Criminal behaviour [caution or conviction]
  • A determination by another body
  • Fraudulent entry to the Register

The NMC encourage most issues to be dealt with locally however concerns should be raised as quickly as possible,

All referrals are initially screened to check that the person is on the register and to ascertain if it is something the NMC can deal with. If the screening team is satisfied that there are grounds for a case then the matter will be sent to the investigations team who prepare the case for the case examiners.

The case examiners will consider all the information and decide whether there is a case to answer. If they decide there is no case to answer then the case will be closed.

If they decide that there is a case to answer then the matter will be referred to either the Conduct and Competence Panel or the Health Panel.

The case can then be dealt with at a hearing or a meeting. Meetings are only appropriate if the case is straightforward or there is no public interest in dealing with the matter at a hearing.

  • At a hearing the case against you will be presented by an NMC case presenter and witnesses can be called.
  • You are entitled to attend and be represented.
  • If the allegations against you are found proved and your fitness to practise is found to be impaired, a sanction will be imposed.

It is very important that you engage with the NMC during the process. This can sometimes lead to the case being closed at an earlier stage or a lesser sanction being imposed at conclusion of the process. In addition, the Code requires that you must tell any employer that you are under investigation.

Interim Orders

At any time during the Fitness to Practise process the case may be referred for an interim orders hearing.


Should a nurse or midwife want to appeal against the decision of an NMC panel they can do so within 28 days.

The appeal is to the High Court of Justice in England and Wales, The High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland or the Court of Sessions in Scotland.

The appeal court will decide whether the decision was correct.

The Professional Standards Authority [PSA] has the power to appeal against a decision made by the NMC on the grounds that it is unduly lenient.

Restoration to the Register

A nurse or midwife can apply to be restored to the Register if they have been struck off after five years from the date the order came into effect.

Consensual Panel Determination [CPD]

Where a nurse or midwife who is subject to a fitness to practise allegation provisionally agrees a sanction with the NMC.

To be considered for a CPD the nurse or midwife must admit the allegations against them and accept that their fitness to practise is impaired.

The agreement is then put before the relevant Committee; Conduct and Competence or Health who will agree or reject it. The Committee can also vary the agreement but only with the consent of both parties.

If the agreement is rejected the case will be put before a fresh panel to conduct a full hearing.

The benefits of a CPD allow the process to be brought to a swift conclusion reducing the length of hearings.

Voluntary Removal

The process by which a nurse or midwife who is subject to a fitness to practise allegation can apply to be removed from the Register.

It allows a nurse or midwife who admits their fitness to practise is impaired, and does not intend to continue practising to be permanently removed from the Register without the need for a full hearing.

An application can be made at any point during the fitness to practise process but applications will not be granted until the case has been fully investigated and a case to answer has been found.

Voluntary Removal is likely to be available to those suffering from long term ill health or near retirement. It will not be allowed where the allegations are so serious that public confidence in the Regulator would suffer if the case was not dealt with at a public hearing.