The Order contains amendments to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s fitness to practise rules to ensure the NMC’s processes can continue during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Order is being made in order to allow the NMC to adapt its current operating and fitness to practise procedures to respond to the Covid-19 emergency. It sits alongside new temporary powers under the Coronavirus Act to register different groups of people it decides are fit, proper and suitably experienced.
Amendments to the NMC’s procedures:
Fitness to practise
These amended rules will:
- enable panel events to take place by video-conferencing, audio-link and telephone. In the first instance this will allow urgent hearings and meetings like interim orders and substantive order reviews to continue to take place. This may also apply to substantive events later if the situation warrants it. The approach being taken is in line with the approach being taken in the civil courts;
- will allow the serving of notices of hearings by email rather than by post;
- amend the Constitution Rules to allow the NMC to extend the second term of panel members (who can only serve two terms) for as long as it deems appropriate, allowing members to continue serving during the emergency without needing to undertake a recruitment exercise; and
- amend the requirements for quorate Practice Committee panels to allow hearings to proceed with only two members, and not require a nurse, midwife or nursing associate member.
Renewal and retention of registration
This order will also amend the rules so that rather than three months, the extension period would be within the Registrar’s discretion, and further extensions could be granted.
This Order came into effect on 31 March 2020.
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