Fitness to practise
This article backs up 'Support when you need it', published on page 12 of RCN Bulletin in January 2012.
RCN counselling service: providing support when you need it most
Pat’s account of facing an NMC panel in RCN Bulletin showed the importance of getting legal representation from the RCN but this isn’t the only help she received.
Pat also had telephone counselling from the RCN to help her through this distressing time. “They were absolutely excellent,” she says.
“There were other things going on in my life but my nursing career was so important to me; I was at the end of my tether. The counsellor was just the right person for me to speak to – I still use some of the techniques now. I was distraught and desperate. I went on sick leave for four weeks but the counselling made me ready to go back to work.”
Pat says it is important to remember the impact that your distress has on your friends and family, who may not comprehend the effect these decisions could have on your nursing career. “I’m now supporting two other nurses who are going through this. I want others to know they are not alone and that I understand how distressing this is.”
The RCN understands how worrying this can be for nurses and is introducing a new peer support scheme for members facing NMC hearings. “Being responsive to the support needs of members is at the heart of Member Support Services and with this in mind a peer support service for members undergoing NMC hearings is to be launched in January 2012,” says Head of RCN Member Support Services Jacqui Jablaoui.
Improvements made to help you seek legal help
A new, more efficient, way for RCN members to make legal claims has been introduced.
RCN members across the UK can now complete an online form for seeking legal advice relating to NMC cases, free legal advice and personal injury.
“Previously only members based in England or Wales could make an online personal injury claim,” said Roz Hooper, RCN Senior Legal Adviser. “But we have extended the system to include all members based in the UK and for a new range of issues.”
The new online forms are available to RCN members 24 hours a day, seven days a week and remove the need for members to telephone their office to submit their enquiries.
“The forms are sent directly to staff who deal with legal enquiries so we hope to offer an improved service to members. Legal timescales are often very rigid so it is important that we are here to help you in a timely manner,” added Roz.
Find out more at www.rcn.org.uk/support/legal