Advocates have volunteered for specialist training in representing nurses and midwives facing disciplinary proceedings, as part of a new Faculty scheme.

More than 50 members of Faculty, including several QCs, have signed up for tuition in the workings of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), in order to offer representation to those whose livelihoods could be on the line but are otherwise unrepresented.

Many of the advocates are prepared to work on a no win, no fee basis. In appropriate cases, Faculty's Free Legal Services Unit may provide representation at no cost.

A significant number of NMC disciplinary hearings in Scotland feature people who do not have a lawyer and appear for themselves. 

“A hearing like this can be incredibly stressful and worrying for someone, and it will be made all the worse if they have to do it alone,” said Angela Grahame QC, Vice Dean of Faculty.

“Without assistance, they may not know the rules, the procedure or what they are supposed to do. There may be things which can be said to help them, but they may not know how best to present it to the panel or even have the confidence to do so.

“With the scheme we are putting in place, these people do not have to be alone. We have members who are keen to help and this, coupled with their experience and training, will ensure they can provide the best possible representation when it is needed the most.”

For further information contact deans.secretariat@advocates.org.uk.