Voluntary Removal from NMC Register (Nurses and Midwives)
Legal Advice on Voluntary Removal from the NMC Register
A nurse, midwife or nursing associate may make an application to be removed from the register if they are subject to fitness to practise proceedings. An application for Voluntary Removal may be made at any time. If granted, this will finalise the process without a need for a hearing before a Fitness to Practise Committee Panel.
It is also an option for a nurse, midwife or nursing associate who is not subject to fitness to practise proceedings but there are potential regulatory concerns.
If a nurse, midwife or nursing associate is not subject to fitness to practise proceedings then they can apply for their registration to lapse if they no longer wish to be registered. See the ‘Cease to Practise’ guidance from the NMC for more information on that procedure, on the NMC website.
The requirements for consideration of Voluntary Removal can be found in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (Education, Registration and Registration Appeals) Rules 2004, Rule 14(1) and (2A) and the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001, Articles, 12 (3) (b) and 24 (4) (b).
The decision to grant Voluntary Removal will only be made when the case has been fully investigated and the case examiners decide there is a case to answer.
It will be appropriate where patients and the public will be best protected by a nurse, midwife or nursing assocaiate to be immediately removed from the register.
In order to be granted Voluntary Removal, the nurse, midwife or nursing associate will be required to accept all of the regulatory concerns, the regulatory concerns must not be so serious that they are fundamentally incompatible with being a registered professional and the nurse, midwife or nursing associate provides evidence that they do not intend to continue practising because, for example, they are suffering from a long term health condition or are near retirement age.
The Registrar, when considering whether to grant an application for Voluntary Removal, will consider comments made by the referrer of the concerns. This can be an important way of ensuring the patient voice is heard, and can help the Registrar to understand the impact a nurse, midwife, or nursing associate’s actions have had on the people involved. Their comments may help understand the seriousness of the concerns and may support a decision to grant removal.
Not all cases will be suitable for Voluntary Removal. Those cases that are serious, such as the death of a patient or serious sexual abuse will not be suitable as there is a public interest in these matters being dealt with by a Fitness to Practise Committee.
Voluntary Removal is also not available if a substantive order of Suspension or a substantive Conditions of Practice Order has been made by a Fitness to Practise Committee. There is, however, a procedure to remove the interim order in place for VR to take effect.
However, an application may be made during a substantive hearing but the Fitness to Practise Committee Panel will not be informed of this until a decision on impairment has been made. If the nurse, midwife or nursing associate is found to be impaired then the Panel will make a decision on whether Voluntary Removal is appropriate and make a recommendation to the Registrar. If the Registrar agrees, the nurse, midwife or nursing associate will be voluntarily removed but if the Registrar does not agree, the Panel will proceed to decide on an appropriate sanction.
Voluntary removal is not permanent and an application can be made for re-admission to the register. (This is not the case when a nurse, midwife or nursing associate has been removed from the register by way of a Striking Off order. An application for restoration can be made after a period of 5 years has lapsed since the order came into effect). For readmission to the register the nurse, midwife or nursing associate will need to provide a written submission and documentary evidence. The Registrar will consider these submissions along with the details of the regulatory concerns at the time the Voluntary Removal was granted.
(Old Guidance from NMC on VR: (Withdrawn) Voluntary Removal Guidance)
For legal advice or legal representation in nursing and midwifery legal matters, including Voluntary Removal from the NMC Register, call us without obligation.
Nurses Defence Service