The “Buddy – hold my hand” pilot will begin in September and is being run by the campaign organisation NMC Watch.

The Nursing Times reported that under the scheme, nurses and midwives being investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council or undergoing a local employment dispute will be offered one-to-one support from an allocated “buddy” across up to 10 hourly sessions.

Cathryn Watters, registered nurse and founder of NMC Watch told Nursing Times:

“The buddy is there not to make any judgement about the case but to virtually hold their hand through it.”

The buddy scheme will be sponsored by the Laura Hyde Foundation.

Liam Barnes, trustee chair from mental health charity the Laura Hyde Foundation, said:

“The people we support face regular traumatic situations in their daily work, however they do the job they love because they care.

“When they experience a situation whereby that care is questioned, the impacts of this can be significant to their mental health often causing long term health impacts that must be proactively addressed at the start and not towards the end when it is too late.”

The Nursing Times also reported that a survey carried out by NMC Watch in 2019 found that being under fitness to practise investigation can have a major negative effect on self-worth, and can cause financial hardship as well as a loss of professional and personal identity that lasts beyond the proceedings.

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