What You Need To Be Prepared For if Facing An Inquiry

How Can You Support Your Colleagues & Staff In These Cases?

A one-day conference

Royal Marine Hotel,
Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Date: 29th June 2018

Following on from the success of the last few years of this conference, attendees from previous years have had extremely positive feedback on the day stating that the conference gave them great insight into what to expect if involved in a fitness to practice inquiry and what you need to be prepared for or how they can support staff.

This year’s programme will focus more in depth on recent cases and how their decisions and judgements have impacted on the Fitness to Practise arena going forward. There will also be a greater emphasis on the impact of cases on staff and colleagues and how you should support individuals involved in cases.

Book your place now!

This conference will be of interest to all professionals working in our healthcare services including directors of nursing, nurses, regulators, legal consultants, social care professionals, pharmaceutical professionals, and educators, dental, veterinary, teachers, barristers, architects etc. and anyone who could find themselves subject to a fitness to practice inquiry.




Registration with tea, coffee and pastries


Opening Remarks – Conference Chairperson

Caroline Gill, Barrister at Law, former Insurance, Ombudsman, CEO Consumers Association of Ireland


Prima facie stage – rules and procedures explained

  • Grounds and origins of complaints. What to do if a complaint is made about you /
  • What is a prima facie decision? Procedure – Importance of response at prima facia consideration stage. Legal principles in making prima facie decision.
  • Reasons – The Flynn case, obligations of committee to give reasons for decisions
  • Seeking legal representation advice.
  • Mediation – its role in the screening process; different provisions for different professions.

Speaker: Simon Mills, Barrister-at-Law, The Law Library


The inquiry – Practice and procedure surrounding fitness to practise inquiries

  • Processes pre-inquiry – preparation – what are the essentials?
  • Case management, call over hearing. Hearing practicalities you must know. Applications for hearing to be heard in private
  • Role of the Legal Assessor
  • Recent fitness to practise cases – key details and outcomes to use for future cases.

Speaker: Louise Beirne, Barrister-at-Law, The Law Library


Q&A Session


Coffee break and chance to network


The panel & witness requirements / responsibilities

  • Who is the panel made up of – who can you expect to be facing
  • The difference between witness of fact and expert witness
  • What is expected of witnesses

Speaker: Patrick McCann, Senior Counsel


After Corbally – Poor Professional Performance

  • What is “poor professional performance”? What professions does it apply to and how?
  • What were the issues in Corbally v Medical Council – The High Court’s decision and its effect
  • Where now? The UK Approach?

Professional competency schemes – Assessing Performance in practice – an alternative approach to Resolving fitness-to-practice concerns

  • Explore efficient and appropriate approaches from the perspective of public safety and supporting good practice – additional measures to fitness to practise inquiries. 
  • Hear the Medical Council new procedures (a “professional competency scheme”) to assess doctors’ performance in practice in response to concerns about fitness-to-practice
  • Discussing the value and implications for fitness-to-practise procedures

Speaker: William Kennedy, Director of Regulation & Legal Advisor Professional Standards, The Medical Council


Q&A Session


Lunch and chance to network


Sanctions & Interim Suspension orders (pending inquiry)

  • Statutory process for imposition of sanction – role of Councils and High Court – Sanctions available – Purpose of sanctions
  • Factors determining appropriate sanction, eg aggravating & mitigating factors
  • Recent case law including the Dowling case

Interim Suspension orders (pending inquiry)

  • Circumstances where interim suspension orders are sought
  • Procedures – Council / Board and High Court
  • Criteria for granting
  • Suspension of registrants – where do you stand?

Speaker: Ruth O’Connor, Partner, O’Connor Solicitors


Involvement of the media and public access to the process – what has changed

  • Media reporting on hearings – where to registrants stand and what are your rights
  • Can we expect changes in this space when it comes to public hearings and publicity
  • Publication of disciplinary outcomes

Speaker: Joe Mulrean, Barrister-at-Law, The Law Library


Q&A Session


Conference Close

There will be 6 structured CPD points awarded to all attendees at this conference from the CPD certification service.

Dr. Simon Mills

Dr. Simon Mills

Barrister-at-Law, The Law Library

Dr Simon Mills is a barrister, author and former GP, qualifying in Medicine from TCD, in Law from UCD and in Medical Ethics from Imperial College London.

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He has lectured in medical law and medical ethics at the Law Society, RCSI and other third level institutions. He is a regular contributor to the media on topics relating to medical law and medical ethics. He is the author of Clinical Practice and the Law (Bloomsbury, 2nd edn, 2007, 3rd edn in preparation) and the lead author of Disciplinary Procedures in the Statutory Professions (Bloomsbury, 2011). He has a general common law practice, with a particular emphasis on all aspects of clinical law, including professional negligence, disciplinary matters and coroners’ inquests.

Patrick McCann

Patrick McCann

Senior Counsel

Patrick McCann is a Senior Counsel at the Irish Bar.

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He has acted extensively in civil and commercial matters. He is currently Chairperson of the Barristers’ Professional Conduct Tribunal. He has acted as Legal Assessor to the Irish Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). He was a Counsel to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry and a Chair of Mental Health Tribunals.

Louise Beirne

Louise Beirne

Barrister-at-Law, The Law Library

Louise Beirne was called to the bar in 2010.

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She practises mainly in the area of professional regulatory law. Her practice also includes professional negligence, particularly medical negligence, EU law and statutory interpretation.

Ruth O’Connor

Ruth O’Connor

Partner, O’Connor Solicitors

Ruth specialises in Regulatory, Healthcare and Employment Law and has acted both on behalf of professional representative bodies and statutory regulatory bodies.

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Ruth has been involved in Professional Practise Inquiries for over 20 years appearing regularly before An Bord Altranais (now Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland) on behalf nurses and midwives and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. Ruth has frequently lectured and provided training sessions on various aspects of regulatory law and is a regular contributor to periodicals.

Caroline Gill

Caroline Gill

Barrister at Law, former Insurance, Ombudsman, CEO Consumers Association of Ireland

Practising Barrister, Caroline previously held the positions of Insurance Ombudsman of Ireland, Deputy Financial Services Ombudsman and CEO of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland.

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Caroline is a Board member of the Pyrite Resolution Board of Ireland and St Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin.

William Kennedy

William Kennedy

Director of Regulation & Legal Advisor Professional Standards, The Medical Council

William Kennedy is a Graduate of UCG.

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He was admitted to the Rolls of Solicitors in Rep of Ireland Hilary Term 1988 and to the Rolls of Solicitors in England and Wales Easter term 1991. He practised in a large City of London Practice in Commercial Litigation. His clients included, Unilever, Statutory Water Companies and NHS Trusts. William returned to Ireland in 1997 and practiced civil and healthcare litigation in Arthur O’Hagan, Solicitors. He joined the Medical Council in November 1997 as Head of Professional Standards and Legal Adviser. Professional Standards includes responsibility for Fitness to Practise inquiries, Ethics and Monitoring of Conditions attached to doctor’s registration. Since joining the Medical Council there has been a marked increase in its Fitness to Practise activities. He has responsibility for the processing of complaints to, and the hearing of inquiries by, The Fitness to Practise Committee. With the introduction of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 the disciplinary procedures have been separated between the Preliminary Proceedings Committee, the Fitness to Practise Committee and the Council. William also provides support, advice and research to the Ethics Committee, and the Monitoring Group, whose task concerns the monitoring of compliance with conditions by practitioners.

Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Booking Rate @ €365 + VAT.

Please note the early bird discount can close sooner than expected once a certain amount of seats fill up, therefore your prompt booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment

CMG Events Conference Discount

  • 10% discount for the third delegate booked or subsequent bookings thereafter from the same company.

The rate to attend includes morning tea/coffee and refreshments on arrival at registration, mid-morning tea/coffee and pastries and full buffet lunch. You will receive the speakers PowerPoint presentations within 24 hours after the event. 

Tel: 01 293 4764

Email: bookings@cmgevents.ie

   Telephone:+353 1 2933650

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