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What is Witness Support

Being a Witness

Going to Court as part of your NHS profession is more common for some staff than others. This site offers some key things to consider when you are cited as a witness, providing some details around the various legal cases some NHS staff could be called to attend.

It is important to keep in mind that witnesses play a key role by giving information in court. The courts need witnesses to give evidence so that they can build up a picture of the facts surrounding the case allowing the court to come to a decision/verdict.  Understandably, witnesses can feel intimidated and anxious about the prospect of attending court and hopefully this site will help answer some questions you may have at this time. 

What is Witness Support?

Preparation is essential when you are being called as a professional witness.  Witnesses have to prepare themselves professionally for Court by reviewing all relevant documents, notes relative to their involvement. The more they prepare the more beneficial and less daunting it should be when the time comes to take the witness stand in court. 

Witness support is practical, emotional support and guidance on court and legal process.  Witness Support is not coaching or influencing witnesses on how to give your evidence but helping you become more prepared, confident and familiarised in the legal process you are about to embark.  Sometimes, the gap between giving a witness statement/precognition statement and a trial/hearing date being set can take many months or years, depending on the type of case.  Therefore, use that time to prepare and familiarise yourself with relevant medical notes/investigation reports ensuring you have all the support you need professionally and emotionally to assist and guide you through what can be a stressful and sometimes worrying time for NHS staff.  

As a starting point, have a read over the site content and familiarise yourself with the appropriate sections, for example, if you are being cited in respect of a Criminal Trial, have a read over Cited to a Criminal Trial section first and then section around court attendance/court visit – Attendance at Court & Court Familiarisation Visit.  This will give you some practical information and guidance and a good starting point in aiding your preparation for Court.