Regulation of Healthcare Professionals

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Nurses are regulated by the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC).

Doctors are regulated by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The NMC and GMC are there to protect the public and to protect the reputation of the profession.

They do this by imposing sanctions for misconduct and/or unfitness to practice.

Both regulators have the power to remove a nurse or doctor from the register, in other words to ‘strike them off’, which means that individual can no longer practice as a nurse or doctor.

The NMC and GMC can also impose other sanctions for example a caution, or to impose conditions on the nurse or doctor’s practice, for example that a nurse or doctor cannot work in a particular area eg intensive care, paediatrics, elderly.

The NMC and GMA are looking at fitness to practice and professional misconduct, they are not there to punish or to compensate.

Independent Safeguarding Agency


The ISA can ban individuals from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Criminal Courts


The criminal courts are there to punish and investigations are carried out by the police. If there appears to be a crime then charges will be put to the nurse/doctor and the case would be prosecuted in the criminal courts with a finding of guilty/not guilty. A guilty plea for finding would lead to a criminal conviction, which would be referred to the criminal courts.

Civil Courts


The civil courts are there to compensate victims of negligence for the consequences of negligence.

To succeed you must show there is a duty of care, that the duty of care has been breached (the negligence) and that there are consequences to that breach of duty (for which you can be compensated).

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