NMC Case Law for Nurses

Nursing and Midwifery Council Appeal Case Law

Nursing and Midwifery Council Case Law

Nurses Defence Service (NDS) summarises Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) appeal cases on this page and other cases that are relevant to NMC procedure and practice. If you would like us to consider reporting on a particular case, let us know. See also our nursing related case law index to read about other areas of law relevant to nursing practice and regulation.


Registrar’s Powers:

In Oriaku, R (On the Application Of) v Nursing And Midwifery Council [2017] EWHC 235 (Admin) – the court confirmed that the NMC’s Registrar has the power to determine that weak complaints against registered professionals (nurses and midwives) can be closed without referring the complaint to the Investigating Committee.

Committee Misunderstood Evidence:

In Duthie v Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) [2012] EWHC 3021 (Admin) the appeal court judge determined that certain findings made by the panel in relation to the credibility of witnesses were misguided (and wrong as a matter of law), where contemporaneous documentation completed by other clinicians suggested a different story from the narrative that had been given by the complainant witnesses. (October 2012)

No Extension of Interim Order Where Excessive Delay:

In NMC v Miller [2011] EWHC 2601 (Admin) the NMC had imposed an interim order of suspension of 18 months, followed by a 9 month suspension order, imposed by way of a statutory application to the High Court. The judge declined to grant the NMC a further extension of time, holding that there had been excessive delay in concluding the investigation into allegations against the nurse.[/note]

Shouting and Assault Led to Strike Off:

In Rogan v Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) [2011] NIQB 12 the appeal court determined that factual determinations made by the NMC Conduct and Competence panel, in fitness to practice proceedings, would stand. There was no reason in fact or law to overturn the panel’s determinations made by the panel. The panel found the nurse guilty of striking a patient and of shouting.  The nurse was struck off. (February 2011) [/note]

NMC Must Act Fairly by Calling Primary Witnesses:

In Ogbonna v Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) [2010] EWCA Civ 1216 the Court of Appeal directed that it was incumbent on the NMC to call prosecution witnesses. The NMC should not to rely on witness statements against nurses without making proper efforts to call the witnesses. (October 2010) NB. The nurse was presented by an lawyer who works at Nurses Defence Service.

See also: Ward v NMC [2014] EWHC 1158 (Admin), and also R (Bonhoeffer) v GMC [2011] EWHC 1585 (Admin) on the same point. When a witnesses evidence is decisive they should be called to give evidence. There is however guidance on when this principle might not apply.

Proceeding in Absence:

R (Raheem) v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2010] EWHC 2549 (Admin) – the appeal court held that service had been effective, even though the NMC notice of hearing had been returned unopened. However, the panel had undertaken a cursory assessment of whether to proceed in the absence of the practitioner, and such an approach was unlawful. The case was remitted back to the NMC to be heard again. (October 2010) See also R v Hayward, R v Jones, R v Purvis QB 862 [2001], EWCA Crim 168 [2001] albeit a criminal law case, it is the leading case to be applied on whether a disciplinary tribunal or panel should proceed in the absence of a nurse or midwife, or not. See also the following cases which confirm the position: General Medical Council v Adeogba; General Medical Council v Visvardis [2016] EWCA Civ 162

Applying Proper Fact-Finding Methodology:

In Khan v General Medical Council (Rev 1) [2021] EWHC 374 (Admin) the High Court set aside findings of a tribunal, holding that the tribunal had not applied the proper fact-finding methodology to the case. (March 2021)

Nurses Must Self-Report Overseas Regulators’ Decisions:

In Susan Lim Met Lee v GMC (2016) it was held that a practitioner practising in a foreign jurisdiction who has regulatory findings made against them must promptly inform the UK regulator of that outcome, even if it is the subject of an appeal.

See also NMC IOP Extension Law Cases

For further information about NMC regulatory law processes, read our NMC Investigations and NMC Hearings pages. For further information about any aspect of nursing law, contact us on: 0800 01 22 506

Written by

Nurses Defence Service - Legal Services for UK Nurses