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Scandal of rogue nurses free to work on NHS hospital wards

Scores of potentially dangerous nurses and midwives could be working in the NHS and putting patients at risk as their cases sit in a growing backlog of misconduct, 


Hundreds of accusations against staff are being progressed without a full investigation, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) whistleblower has alleged, risking false sanctions or rogue nurses being wrongly cleared if the cases collapse.

Overall there are more than 1,000 outstanding cases against healthcare staff for a hearing, including 451 that have not even been allocated a lawyer to vet. In 83 of the more serious allegations, the accused staff have been put under restrictions but could still be working with patients.

The NMC whistleblower has claimed the figures expose a hidden backlog of “under-investigated” allegations, with 451 cases against nurses and midwives still needing to be reviewed by lawyers. These could include nurses who are innocent but are awaiting a hearing, with one “stuck in the void” for eight years, the source added.

The whistleblower whose allegations prompted The Independent’s investigations has raised repeated concerns to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), which regulates the NMC, over the hidden backlog, which was only uncovered through a freedom of information request.

However the PSA has not used its powers to trigger a review. The whistleblower warned the public is being left at risk of harm, while nurses and midwives could face miscarriages of justice.

“The NMC’s desperation to hide these figures has caused it to make dangerous decisions including creating a surge team of colleagues from across the organisation to review these cases with only minimal training,” the whistleblower said.“It is proposing to mass outsource these reviews to a firm of lawyers who have never undertaken this kind of work before.”

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Source: The Independent, 3 March 2024


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