Nurse permanently disqualified after assault on patient

20 Nov 2017

A tribunal has reprimanded an enrolled nurse and permanently disqualified him from applying for registration after he admitted to professional misconduct concerning an assault on a patient.

The South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal (the tribunal) accepted an agreement between the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and Mr Geoffrey Alan Smithson, that Mr Smithson had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct, after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.

On 28 November 2015, Mr Smithson was practising as an enrolled nurse at Clements House at the Oakden Older Person's Mental Health Service. Mr Smithson had just redressed a 65 year old patient suffering from Alzheimer’s, with the assistance of another nurse. While the patient was seated in a chair, a third nurse placed a restraint on the patient who then kicked Mr Smithson. Mr Smithson then stomped on the bare foot of the patient while wearing shoes.

On 4 May 2016, Mr Smithson was charged by South Australia Police with aggravated assault against the patient and on 14 September 2016 he pleaded guilty to the charge in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.

On 21 October 2016, the NMBA took immediate action, imposed conditions on Mr Smithson’s registration and referred him to the tribunal. Mr Smithson surrendered his registration as a nurse on 23 December 2016.

On 27 October 2017, the tribunal accepted the agreement of the parties that Mr Smithson had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct. The tribunal reprimanded Mr Smithson and permanently disqualified him from applying for registration as nurse, and permanently prohibited him from providing any health services in any way related to the practice of nursing.

The tribunal’s decision will be published on the tribunal website.

 
 
Page reviewed 20/11/2017