Blake Morgan's Professional Regulatory bulletin - review of June 2016
Welcome to this month's professional regulatory update from Blake Morgan. If you have managed to find to time to read it, I hope you found the PSA's report on dishonesty matters interesting.
Arguably the most significant case of the month was Burrows v GPhC, a dishonesty case in which, most significantly, Mr Justice Kerr commented that regulators should forewarn registrants that a failure to attend their hearing is likely to severely prejudice their case. Template letters and Hearing Notices are being rapidly amended as I write…More widely it serves as an important reminder of the key principles behind the assessment of insight and its potential impact on sanction. Not a case to be missed!
In addition, the NMC v Meethoo case reminds all parties that delaying a disciplinary hearing due to a pending coroners inquest may not go down well at the High Court, when an Interim Order extension is required.
The month also saw the PSA take action against the NMC in the High Court following a case called Silva in which it was later held that there had been a failure to draft allegations that properly encapsulated the registration's attitudinal problem and motivation. This case is a clear reminder that all allegations that are key to the overall assessment of the seriousness of the registrant's conduct must be pleaded.
We will be taking a break in August, so look forward to bringing you our next update in September. Enjoy the summer holidays and let's hope we see some sun.
If you have any comments regarding the e-bulletin we would very much like to hear from you.
Please click on the links to view the recent key regulatory cases and press releases.
Burrows v General Pharmaceutical Council  Judgment
This case serves as an important reminder of key principles behind the assessment of insight, and determining the appropriate sanction. A registrant found to have acted dishonestly will always be at risk of the most severe sanction, and a registrant who does not attend is likely to be disadvantaged.
Nursing and Midwifery Council v Meethoo  Judgment
Regulators should think very carefully about any application to delay the progression of fitness to practise proceedings on the ground that a coroner's inquest is pending, particularly where criminal proceedings have resulted in the registrant's acquittal. Even when balanced against the protection of the public and the interest in the profession, the Deputy Judge in this case made it clear that in his view the NMC was unnecessarily dragging its feet and clear pressure was applied for a conclusion to proceedings to be reached within 6 months.
PSA v Silva and The Nursing and Midwifery Council  Judgment
This case serves to highlight the importance of drafting charges which reflect the full extent of the concerns raised and particularly any concerns regarding a registrant's attitude and motivation. This case clearly demonstrates the need for panels to fully consider the registrant's reasons for behaviour when establishing whether a registrant's fitness to practise is currently impaired.
Press releases this month include those from The Law Society, GMC, and CIPFA.