Saturday, 15 June 2019

NMC Fitness to Practice destroys staff

So often when staff are referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Fitness to Practice (FtP) court the allegation being made is unjustified or worse still, untrue and therefore unsubstantiated.

Unfortunately the FtP panels start from the premise that the allegations are true and the registrant has to prove otherwise.  Of course that is completely against natural justice let alone human rights but only the powerless registrants seem to know practically of this grave injustice, when the malpractice unfolds before them at their hearing.

Cathryn Watters was a very experienced oncology nurse.  She left an unsatisfactory post, looked at finding her next step through agency work, didn’t find anything that met her requirements and then landed a dream job with a private company. 

She was about a year into working there when she received a letter from the NMC informing her that one of the dates on her certificates had been altered.  The NMC were investigating the possibility that the alteration had been made in order to deceive.

Shocked, Cathryn informed her employer and notified the agencies she’d applied to even though she had never progressed beyond applying.  She had no idea why or how the date on the certificate had been altered but immediately ensured that records were corrected.   (It remains a mystery… was it a disgruntled colleague...was the form never accurate in the first place…who knows …)

Cathryn wrote this poem after the FtP found her guilty and she was ‘struck off’ the register, that very expression underlining the immensity of this outcome.  She had been found guilty because she failed to admit her dishonesty, showing no insight!  It takes my breath away to write that.  What devastating injustice. 

Her poem eloquently describes the impact this verdict had on her.  

She dedicated it to the 15 nurses who died whilst waiting for their FtP cases to be concluded, such is the impact of this lengthy and horrendous process.


This day I put my faith in you,
And hoped you’d see my side.
I sat there, tried to listen hard,
But really only cried.

This day I put my faith in you,
I respected all you said.
I felt I owed you everything,
I believed each word I read.

This day I put my faith in you,
I thought you’d have my back.
But as I sat and listened,
I began to see the cracks.

This day I put my faith in you,
I should have stayed at home.
Today you walked away from me,
You told me I was done.

This day I lost my faith in you,
My PIN is yours to hold.
It was never mine, but on loan to me,
And now it’s yours I’m told.

This day I lost my faith in you,
You brandished me unfit.
My years they count for nothing,
I disappear… I sit.

This day I lost my faith in you,
As you listened to the lies.
I thought you’d care for me as well,
I’m not worthy in your eyes.

This day I put my faith in you,
But you washed your hands of me.
So now I try to build my life,
Scarred by NMC.

This day I lost my faith in you,
I have nowhere I can turn.
The largest part of me is gone,
There’s no lessons that you learn.

This day I tried to find the strength,
Not to hold my head in shame.
I know I did the best I could,
I was not the one to blame.

This day I try to carry on,
To see that I am more,
Than just my PIN, my life as a nurse,
My growth, my ethos and my core.

This day our patients lost their chance,
To have my care and skill
Your panel took that chance away,
One less to help the ill.

One day you may a lesson learn
That few of us recover
Broken by your lack of care
A line of souls to suffer.

Dedicated to the 15 nurses who died since April 2015,
 before their Fitness to Practice cases concluded.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Cathryn's poem.
    I'm in now. Residents love me, other staff like to work with me. But I am destroyed when somebody turned and said they witnessed me to abuse a resident.

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