Recruitment of Lay and Registrant Members

Testimonials

Lay and Registrant (nurse, midwife and nursing associates) panel members are crucial in helping us to safeguarding the health and well-being of the public.

Below is a short video which will give some more insight into the role :


We asked some of our lay and registrant members what they thought about being a panel member and if they'd recommend anyone to become one who was considering it.

Sue Rourke (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"I have really enjoyed my time as a panel member. I have been fortunate to work with a range of people from different professional backgrounds in a number of settings across the UK. I have learned a huge amount about professional regulation as well as a more detailed understanding of the NMC rules and regulations underpinning fitness to practice. I have been very well supported by the NMC in terms of training and development and feel valued by the organisation for my contributions."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"Sitting as a panel member for the NMC is valuable and important work. I feel privileged to play a part in upholding the standards of the profession, ensuring public safety, and supporting registrants to practice effectively. Undertaking this role has also given me valuable insight into the factors that can lead to unsafe practice. This heightened insight and awareness has given me a fresh perspective on the systems that I work within and helped me to enhance my own practice as a result."

David Boden (Lay)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"The experience has been intellectually rewarding and provided me with new insights and has added significantly to my long career at a very senior level. The feeling of doing something worthwhile which contributes to the public good has been overwhelming. I have also enjoyed revisiting the four major cities of the UK where the hearings are held and the camaraderie of other panel members. The training and support from the NMC and from legal assessors at hearings has been excellent and enabled me to tackle the more challenging aspects of this work with comfort."

Peter Wrench (Lay)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"Stimulating, fascinating and satisfying. Each case has its own particular angles and issues. Each combination of panel members, secretary and legal assessor has its own dynamic. The shared determination to get to the right outcome makes for a rigorous set of discussions – and a sense at the end of the day that you have done your bit, in helping to ensure fair treatment for individual registrants and a proper protection of the public interest."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"It is very interesting and challenging work – and it is work that needs to be done. It is important, for individual nurses and midwives, the profession as a whole, and the wider public. Each day is different, as you tackle different sorts of cases with different sets of colleagues. There is flexibility about how much you work and when, so it can be fitted in with a range of other commitments. Supportive training is provided and the overall ethos is collaborative and collegiate."

Andrew Harvey (Lay)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"I’ve learnt a lot from the role. NMC was my first regulatory post, so I was unsure how I would grow into it. I shouldn’t have worried. The induction training was first rate, experienced panel members were very supportive and gave of their time very freely. People are very much like that; there’s no such thing as a daft question. Everyone was very happy to help."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"Above all else, the work we do is so rewarding. Protecting the public is the absolute centre of what we do – but that’s not all about sanctions. There are plenty of times when the right result is that a good nurse, midwife or nursing associate is returned to safe practice. It can be exacting work and intellectually challenging, but that’s good too. Add to that, the most diverse group of colleagues -from a whole range of professional backgrounds."

Sheena Payne (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"I enjoyed listening and questioning evidence, having the opportunity to work with a team who bought their individual experience to the table and who were determined to ensure a fair hearing."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"The opportunity to be involved in ensuring the safe and effective practice of registrants so the public can have faith in the system that governs them."

Nicola Jackson (Lay)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"I enjoy contributing to safe clinical practice, using skills developed in my previous profession. I enjoy training in the processes and law, and have developed strategies to analyse documentation in evidence. I have enjoyed becoming a Panel chair, with all the people skills involved, valuing all colleagues’ contributions and ensuring witnesses and registrants are respected and feel as comfortable as possible."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"Valuable role for society;

Opportunity to work with colleagues with extensive professional and legal experience;

Feels good to be part of a team and get to know other panellists;

Good to be part of safeguarding clinical practice."

Andy Thompson (Lay)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"Interesting and challenging. I really enjoyed the teamwork of the panel coming together to make important judgements. Being responsible for the protection of the public was a duty worth engaging with. I learnt a lot from my colleagues, the legal assessors and panel secretaries. This enhanced my confidence. I found I was able to use my experience from former arenas to aid the process. The process of health regulation was different to sitting as a magistrate. The training was always excellent."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"It allows you to bring your experience to the essential matter of protecting the public and the wider public interest. It got me out of my comfort zone in rural England in a suppor9ve manner and made me think I could still contribute to society at the end of my working life. I got to meet and befriend so many interesting people from diverse backgrounds."

Kim Bezzant (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"Being a panel member has been a positive, learning experience. In particular I have learnt how to use legal and professional principles to help order and articulate my thoughts so that I can contribute to high quality decision-making. The Fitness to Practise team has been kind and supportive."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"I would recommend that anyone wanting to become a panel member has a good understanding of how professional accountability contributes to protecting the public, and a willingness and ability to engage in the thoughtful debate that enables fair and well-reasoned decisions."

Jude Bayly (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"I have loved this role and feel privileged to be part of the team of panellists. The cases I have sat on have been extremely varied, often complex and challenging, I have always felt well supported."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"I would recommend to anyone to apply for this role. It is challenging work, but extremely rewarding. Each case is unique, you never stop learning. Cases that may look simple are often the most complex. I think it is one of the most important roles I have had in my career."

Janine Ellul (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"I have found the experience of being a panel member a really positive and immensely interesting experience.

It has given me a new perspective on my profession in a number of ways. I have a greater understanding on the regulation of the nursing profession and the challenges faced by the NMC to uphold and maintain professional standards. The role of the registrant panel member is vital to the regulatory process and the panels' I have worked on have always valued and respected my experience and insights as a nurse."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"Being an FTP panel member is a vitally important role, it is a way to make a real difference to both patient care and the experience of the registrant going through the FTP process. It is a really interesting role especially for anyone who has an enquiring mind and likes to look beyond the surface when faced with complex decisions and situations. I would recommend becoming a panel member for the opportunity to meet and work with a wide range of people from a wide range of professional backgrounds providing a wealth of knowledge you can access. I can honestly say that becoming a fitness to practice panel member has been great, my practice and knowledge have improved immensely during my time in this role and I look forward to serving for a number of years to come."

Bernard Herdan (Lay) 

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"My induction and ongoing training were comprehensive. In my first 18 months as a panel member, I have heard some 20 cases lasting from one to seven days. Prior to the pandemic all hearings were attended in person, but since the first pandemic lockdown most hearings have been virtual with all participants working from home. Some were initial full hearings, others were reviews for nurses working under conditions or who had been suspended. The types of case were extremely varied ranging from allegations of dishonesty, cases of unprofessional behaviour, poor record keeping, medication errors and clinical failings."

Would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"Through fulfilling the role of FTP member, you have a direct input into the vital work of the NMC in protecting the public, maintaining proper professional standards and maintaining public trust in nurses and midwives. I have found the role to be fascinating as we work through paperwork seeking to substantiate allegations, hear from the NMC case presenter, witnesses and the nurse or midwife, and decide whether or not to impose sanctions. In my experience panels operate well as a team and it is very rewarding to work together to reach conclusions which are fair from all perspectives."

Linda Pascall (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"Initially I experienced real feelings of inadequacy when it came to working with legal advisors - their world and language was very alien to me and I felt out of my depth. However, through their respect and understanding of my ‘learning’ curve I very quickly felt at ease and came to realise that my world was just as alien to them and that we were working as collaborators to achieve the same end.

I've also found it distressing at times when hearing of the harm caused to people as a consequence of the action or failure to take action by my colleagues. This is counterbalanced by learning of the courage of other colleagues in raising concern in challenging environments to act as true advocates for patients the profession and the public at large. I’ve also experienced real pleasure to see registrants truly learn from their actions and remediate concerns wether that be fulfilling conditions of practice or demonstrating they are fit to return to the register - its a really heart warming experience.

Being a panel member has been one of the highlights of my nursing career. It's been an educational and enjoyable experience that has strengthened my professionalism and enabled me reflect meaningfully on my practice to benefit myself, my colleagues and my patients."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"As an experienced nurse and midwife I have always valued my registration, my role as a panellist has given me a deeper insight into the significance of being a registrant and the wider impact my actions have on my patients, my colleagues and the public in general.

I believe it has made me a more effective practitioner and role model and I have learned so much personally and professionally."

Shorai Dzirambe (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"It has been amazing and educational experience. I contribute to the profession by bringing my knowledge, skills and clinical perspective to the hearing room. My views are listened to. I reflect on my own practice after each hearing, and this helps me to effectively support those I work with.

The knowledge gained, helped me to fully understand how the NMC functions and in turn, explain how the regulator functions to colleagues. E.g., some registrants view the NMC as “disciplinarian.” I confidently explain about the independent panel, how fairness to the registrant is ensured, public protection and confidence in the profession."

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"Yes, indeed. I would say go for it! This role gives an opportunity to be involved in ensuring fairness to all involved. The role can be challenging, but this is a positive challenge. If you are passionate about upholding the nursing profession and maintaining public safety, this may be for you."

Elizabeth Williamson (Registrant)

What has the experience of being a panel member been like for you?

"Becoming a panel member has been a very different and rewarding opportunity to use my 40 years nursing experience. Every case is so different, just like every person on the register, and it is so rewarding to sit on the Investigating Panel, and hear cases right at the start of the referral process. I feel a real sense of responsibility to the profession, the public and to all the individuals involved, including the registrant who has been referred. It was initially quite daunting; however, I soon realised that, with good preparation and the support I had from experienced fellow panel members, I was able to contribute and add to panel deliberations. I feel so honoured to have been appointed and I thoroughly enjoy my NMC days. I must admit too (pre-lockdown!) that the chance to travel to and work in the 4 UK capital cities has been a real treat, after spending all of my career in hospitals and never really getting the chance to travel!"

Why would you recommend to someone to become an FTP panel member?

"I would highly encourage any registrant to consider applying to the NMC at some point in their nursing career. We need a wide range of registrants to sit on the panel and you learn such a lot about the professions from hearing cases and talking with colleagues, both lay and registrants."