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14 JUN 2012

R (on the application of B) v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2012] EWHC 1264 (Admin)

Regulation - Healthcare Professionals - Nursing and Midwifery Council - Decisions - Power to set aside decisions - Slip rules - Legitimate expectations

The Nursing and Midwifery Council's Investigating Committee did not have an inherent power to set aside its decisions, except in a very narrow class of case in order to correct accidental errors.

15 May 2012

Administrative Court

Lang J

(1)        Ms B, a nurse, sought to challenge by way of judicial review a decision of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to set aside a previous decision that there was no case to answer in respect of fitness to practice allegation and to undertake a further investigation. The NMC had previously decided that there was evidence of system failures at B's care home but that there was insufficient information to suggest that B was solely responsible for the patient's inadequate care. At a later date, NMC purported to set aside the decision and it explicitly relied on R (on the application of Jenkinson) v Nursing and Midwifery Council [2009] EWHC 1111 (Admin) to do so. The NMC asserted that Jenkinson showed that it had the power to set aside its previous decisions where there had been a slip or an accidental error, and it identified two "slips" in its earlier decision, namely that it had erroneously considered the allegations in the context of system failures within the care home, and that it had not applied the correct guidance on the case to answer test.

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