Nurses and Midwives Act 2011


Complaints to Preliminary Proceedings Committee Concerning Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives

Complaints concerning registered nurses and registered midwives.

55.— (1) A person (including the Board) may make a complaint to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee concerning a registered nurse or registered midwife on one or more than one of the grounds of—

(a) professional misconduct,

(b) poor professional performance,

(c) non-compliance with a code of professional conduct,

(d) a relevant medical disability,

(e) a failure to comply with a relevant condition,

(f) a failure to comply with an undertaking or to take any action specified in a consent given in response to a request under section 65 (1),

(g) a contravention of a provision of this Act (including a provision of any regulations or rules made under this Act),

(h) an irregularity in relation to the custody, prescription or supply of a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Acts 1977 and 1984 or another drug that is likely to be abused, or

(i) a conviction in the State for an offence triable on indictment or a conviction outside the State for an offence consisting of acts or omissions that, if done or made in the State, would constitute an offence triable on indictment.

(2) A complaint may be made on the grounds of professional misconduct or poor professional performance notwithstanding that the matter to which the complaint relates occurred outside the State.

(3) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that—

(a) the complainant is kept informed of all decisions made under this Part and, if applicable, Parts 8 and 9 by the Committee, any other committee, or the Board, in relation to the complaint concerned,

(b) the Committee acts expeditiously, and

(c) complaints are processed in a timely manner.

(4) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee may use the services of a person appointed under section 56 in relation to the investigation of a complaint.

(5) Where a complaint falls within subsection (1)(i), the Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall immediately refer the complaint to the Board.

(6) The Board shall consider a complaint referred to it under subsection (5) and—

(a) if it is of the opinion that—

(i) the nature of the offence that is the subject of the complaint or the circumstances in which the offence was committed render the nurse or midwife permanently unfit to continue to practise nursing or midwifery, and

(ii) it is in the public interest that it take action immediately under this paragraph,

the Board shall decide under section 69 (1) to cancel the nurse’s or midwife’s registration under section 69 (1)(f), and

(b) in any other case, the Board shall refer the complaint back to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee and direct the Committee to deal with the complaint as if the complaint had never been so referred.

(7) Nothing in subsection (6) shall be construed to—

(a) prejudice the generality of section 58 , or

(b) limit the range of the measures which the Board may decide to take under section 69 with regard to a registered nurse or registered midwife in any case where the Board has taken the action referred to in subsection (6)(b).

(8) The Preliminary Proceedings Committee shall refuse to consider or further consider a complaint in respect of a matter which occurred before the repeal of section 38 of the Act of 1985 by section 4 if the matter was the subject of an application under Part V of the Act of 1985.

(9) A complaint is a protected disclosure under the Health Act 2004 (as amended by the Health Act 2007 ).