Obtaining Documents from Third-Parties in NMC Cases

Obtaining NMC DisclosureOrders for the Production of Documents in NMC Cases
[NMC Document Production Orders]

A useful legal case that provides guidance on the procedure for registrants to obtain documents in Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise cases is that of Suddock v The Nursing and Midwifery Council [2015] EWHC 3612 (Admin) (11 December 2015). Nurse Suddock appealed a decision of the NMC’s fitness to pratise panel. During the judgment, the appeal judge remarked as follows (at para 39):

“The disciplinary process is an adversarial one. It was a matter for the NMC to decide what evidence it chose to rely upon to prove the charges and it was within its rights to rely primarily upon the evidence of witnesses. It was entitled to select the witnesses it intended to call. By doing so, it took the risk that it would be unable to prove the charges – and in some cases it failed to do so. If Ms Suddock wished to adduce evidence from other witnesses, or documentary evidence, to support her version of events there was nothing to stop her. If the documents in question were not available to her, but were within the NMC’s possession or control and were relevant, it was under an obligation to disclose them to her. If it failed to do so, her remedy was to seek an order from the panel compelling their production.

If you are a nurse or midwife seeking evidential disclosure, write to the case officer who is handling the case, and if they decline to obtain the documentation, consider asking for disclosure in front of the panel. The NMC in some instances will arrange a a preliminary hearing for the matter to be considered. Speak to the NMC for more information. If you would like legal advice or assistance in relation to obtaining documents, give us a call on 0800 0122 506

Nurses Defence Service