How complaints are dealt with
Under the Nurses and Midwives Act, 2011, the complaints process may consist of the following stages:
- A complaint is made, leading to an investigation and a decision on whether or not further action is required
- An inquiry into the complaint is held (depending on the outcome of the previous stage)
- A decision is made about whether or not the allegations are proven and what action should be taken
- The sanction is confirmed by the High Court, if necessary
If you make a complaint to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) about a registered nurse or a registered midwife, your complaint will be assigned to a case officer. The case officer assists the Preliminary Proceedings Committee (PPC) to manage the complaint and to carry out any investigations.
The role of the PPC is to review and investigate complaints. You can find out more about the PPC and its procedures on the PPC page.
The PPC can only deal with written complaints. If you wish to make a complaint, please put your complaint in writing and post to:
Fitness to Practise Department
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
18-20 Carysfort Avenue
Alternatively please email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you submit your complaint
The case officer will:
- Write to you and confirm that NMBI has received the complaint
- Ask you to provide copies of any documents that you may have referred to in your written complaint, if necessary
- Send a copy of your complaint to the nurse or midwife who is the subject of your complaint
- Invite the nurse or midwife to respond to the complaint.
The written complaint with any accompanying documentation and any response received from the nurse or midwife will then be given to the PPC to consider. The PPC then has to decide whether or not further action is required.
Decisions the PPC can make
Once the PPC has considered all the documentation received in relation to the complaint, it could do one or more of the following:
- Refer the matter to the FTPC for a sworn oral inquiry
- Form the opinion that there is not sufficient cause to warrant further action being taken in relation to the complaint
- Form the opinion that the complaint should be referred to another body or authority
- Form the opinion that the complaint could be resolved by mediation or other informal means.
In the case of the second, third and fourth options above, the PPC must inform the Board of NMBI of its opinion.
Action the Board can take
The Board may, after considering an opinion referred to it by the PPC do one or more of the following:
- Decide that no further action is to be taken in relation to the complaint
- Direct the PPC to refer the complaint to another body or authority
- Refer information in relation to the complaint in accordance with a co-operation agreement entered into under section 15 of the Act
- Refer the complaint for resolution by mediation or other informal means; or
- If it considers it necessary to do so, direct that further action be taken by referring the matter to the Fitness to Practise Committee for Inquiry pursuant to section 61 of the Act.
Keeping you informed
The case officer will keep you updated in relation to any decision made by the PPC or the Board regarding whether or not the complaint warrants further action.
The PPC must make reasonable efforts to ensure that it acts expeditiously, that complaints are processed in a timely manner and that anyone making a complaint is informed of all decisions made in relation to the complaint. However, the time required to process a complaint can vary, depending on the complexity of the complaint.