Reporting nurse or midwife to NMC(5 Posts)
Sorry posting here because not sure where else to post.
Just wondering if anyone has ever reported a midwife to the NMC unfortunately I lost my baby during labour earlier this year and the investigation has showed up lots of errors by my midwife. The hospital are focusing on change for the future which is really good but they have said repeatedly that it isn't an investigation into staff or to find blame with individual practice. However I believe that the actions of some of the staff- one midwife in particular was unacceptable and that this needs to be addressed formally. I've decided to report her to the NMC myself just wondering if anyone else has any experience of reporting a nurse or midwife to the NMC after a bad experience in hospital.
Sorry to hear about your baby.
The process of referral is very clear on the nmc website. You can do this yourself.
This is a very serious thing to do and could end in 3 outcomes:
One is that they feel that she didn't do anything wrong and that although the outcome was terrible, it wasn't because she did something outside of the local or national midwifery guidelines.
The second is that they decide she does and she is suspended (often without pay) and could lose her job / the ability to be a midwife anymore.
The third is somewhere in the middle but will involve huge emotionally distress for all involved.
You may think that this is a good thing, particularly as you are grieving and understandably are devastated about the loss of your baby. The referral process itself is easy, the bit afterwards is very hard (waiting to hear about investigations which can take years).
(I'm a doctor so more familiar with gmc referrals but the outcomes are similar)
Here's my take on this ( I work in professional regulation but not for the NMC). Yes you should do it. The online referral form is quite straightforward to complete. A screening team will look at the referral to see if there is a present risk to the public - if so it will go to an Interim Orders Committee - they will see if the person should be allowed to continue to practice until the full case is investigared and hard. At this stage the Interim Orders Committee can decide to suspend their registration, put conditions on their registration or just let them continue to practice whilst the case is investigated. Case Examiners look at the case t see if there is a case to answer. It may be decided there isn't and that's that. If there is a case to answer, it will go to a Committee for a final hearing. This committee may find she s fit to practice unfettered or may decide to impose a caution, or conditions, or suspension or, not that often, striking off the register. Her employers will be told when the referral is made. You say they already know all about it so will probably allow her to continue working for them. However if the IOC decide on interim conditions or suspension, her employers will have to observe the interim order. These days, processes are speedier than they used to be but I think you'll be given a named contact person who will keep you upto date with what's happening. At some stage you will probably be interviewed and give a witness statement if it is to go to a hearing. You may then be called as a witness to give evidence. Whatever happens to her is not at all your responsibility - all you need to do is tell the truth and it is for others to decide on her fitness to practice. Yes of course you will have to relive this very distressing event but this isn't necessarily a wholly negative thing. I know of parents in your situation who feel afterwards that it was worth it and all the regulators now have specialist staff who look after witnesses like you o minimise the distress you might experience. I hear what the hospital are saying, but sometimes it's a mixture of systemic and individual failings and the hospital might not want to engage fully with the latter. Good luck if you go ahead.
I understand that is will be a long process and it will be painful to bring everything up.
I don't want to sound bitter but I do believe that medical staff have a responsibility to take care with their actions and decisions because the end results can be disastrous as I now know. I do believe that people should be held accountable for their actions and although the hospital are taking steps to make sure the same mistakes won't be repeated I worry about the midwives level of competence and how future patients might suffer due her practice. She made a very silly mistake that has potentially led to the death of my daughter and then failed to recognise a number of opportunities to prevent the worst outcome. Nothing she did was malicious in anyway, or was through laziness or anything like that but her poor decision making skills and lack of basic health and safety protocol (for all workplaces not just medical) have astounded me and made me question her ability to practice.
The investigation has said she will need to reflect and write accounts on the incident and how it should have been handled more professionally but do not want to investigate anything on a personal or individual level as it's not about finding blame for them. However I believe accountability is key and I have a duty to make sure that she is properly investigated for her failings however innocent they were at the time.
The regulatory system differentiates between misconduct and professional incompetence. Your case sounds from what you've said like the latter. In such cases, the person is usually given the opportunity to show improvement as long as they recognise their failings and take steps to put them right. They will usually be put on conditions such as certain training to attend or supervision and then after a certain time, go back for review to see if they have met the conditions. It's very fair and is all aimed at protecting the public. The hospital clearly believe she needs to improve but have decided not to refer her - but that's not your problem. You do what you think is right - The NMC will make the decision . I admire patients who complain - and I can't remember a case in which it was only ever one example - once someone is referred its quite common for other issues to be revealed as the investigation is undertaken.
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