25 Aug 2017
False declarations by nurse lead to cancellation of registration and disqualification from reapplying for six months.
A tribunal has reprimanded a nurse, cancelled his registration and disqualified him for reapplying for registration for six months for professional misconduct relating to his conviction for assault.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the Board) referred the matter concerning registered nurse Mr Jineesh Thomas to the State Administrative Tribunal in Western Australia (the tribunal) on 10 February 2017. It followed false declarations Mr Thomas made when renewing his registration in 2015 and 2016, when he stated there had been no change to his criminal history.
Mr Thomas had earlier assaulted his wife at their home on 26 March 2015. He was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm on 23 April 2015 and convicted of the charge on 27 July 2015. He was sentenced to an intensive supervision order for 18 months.
Mr Thomas failed to give the Board written notice of both the charge and conviction under section 130 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory. In falsely declaring there had been no change to his criminal history during the renewal process, his registration for both 2015 and 2016 was improperly obtained.
The matter was settled at mediation which concluded on 21 July 2017, with Mr Thomas admitting he had engaged in professional misconduct. The tribunal noted Mr Thomas’ remorse over his actions. In relation to his conduct, Mr Thomas submitted that he did not try to mislead the Board during the renewal process but was preoccupied with family issues and did not give the process proper consideration.
Mr Thomas further submitted he was under considerable personal stress and the influence of alcohol at the time, and has since taken part in alcohol and anger management counselling. He provided references from his employer reflecting exemplary nursing conduct and has no prior disciplinary history. In relation to the assault charge, he submitted that he made an early guilty plea and the offence did not take place during his practise as a nurse. He was not considered at risk of reoffending and had reunited with his wife.
In its decision on 8 August 2017, the tribunal ordered that Mr Thomas’ registration be cancelled effective 17 July 2017 and he be disqualified from applying for registration for six months. It ordered that Mr Thomas be reprimanded and pay the Board’s costs in the amount of $2400.
The decision is published on the tribunal’s website.