Tribunal disqualifies former nurse for professional misconduct

19 Apr 2018

A tribunal has disqualified a former nurse for professional misconduct concerning the transgression of professional boundaries and inappropriate personal relationships with two patients.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) has reprimanded Mr Munyaradzi Makoni, a former psychiatric nurse, and disqualified him from applying for registration for one year after he admitted transgressing professional boundaries with two patients.

In November 2013, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) received a notification from Monash Health in relation to a former patient, Ms RS, who had alleged a sexual encounter with Mr Makoni. At the time of the alleged conduct, Mr Makoni was a psychiatric nurse employed by Monash Health. In summary, the allegations arising from this notification were that between September 2013 and October 2013 Mr Makoni had:

  • met with Ms RS outside of the clinical setting
  • communicated with Ms RS by telephone and text messages for reasons which were not clinically necessary
  • formed a personal relationship with Ms RS, and
  • engaged in sexual intercourse with Ms RS.

In December 2013, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) imposed a condition on Mr Makoni’s registration that he not care for female patients, while AHPRA investigated the allegations.

On February 2015, Victoria Police advised AHPRA that it was investigating a matter concerning Mr Makoni and another former patient of Monash Health, Ms SP. In summary, the allegations arising from this notification were that between June 2013 and December 2013 Mr Makoni had:

  • met with Ms SP outside of the clinical setting
  • communicated with Ms SP for reasons which were not clinically necessary
  • formed a personal relationship with Ms SP
  • engaged in sexual intercourse with Ms SP on two occasions, and
  • paid the costs involved with Ms SP undergoing a pregnancy termination and attending appointments with Ms SP for that purpose.

In February 2015, the NMBA commenced an investigation into Mr Makoni’s conduct in relation to Ms SP. Having received notice of the investigation, Mr Makoni surrendered his registration. Mr Makoni admitted all of the above alleged conduct in respect of both Ms SP and Ms RS, except for engaging in sexual intercourse with Ms RS. This remaining allegation was not ultimately pursued by the NMBA.

The tribunal found Mr Makoni behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct in relation to the allegations regarding both patients. The tribunal reprimanded Mr Makoni and disqualified him from applying for registration as a nurse for one year.

The tribunal noted that the kind of professional misconduct Mr Makoni had engaged in could be expected to end a nursing career and that Mr Makoni has moved on to other employment and did not intend to seek re-registration.

The tribunal also noted that if Mr Makoni had not surrendered his registration, it is likely that he would have been suspended until the tribunal hearing and that the NMBA would have had a strong case for seeking cancellation of his registration.

For more information please see the tribunal decision.

 
 
Page reviewed 19/04/2018