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Tribunal disqualifies former nurse for six months

21 Jan 2020

A tribunal has disqualified a former nurse from applying for registration for six months following criminal convictions concerning drug trafficking.

On 10 October 2017, registered nurse Mr Robert Pannell pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court of South Australia to a number of criminal offences, including:

  • trafficking a commercial quantity of cannabis
  • cultivating cannabis with the intent to sell
  • possession of prescribed equipment, and
  • without authority, interfering with an electricity meter.

On 26 February 2018, the District Court of South Australia sentenced Mr Pannell to two years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of nine months.

At the time of being arrested and charged with the offences in March 2017, Mr Pannell failed to notify the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), which he was required to do within seven days under the National Law . Mr Pannell also failed to declare the charges to his criminal history during renewal of registration that year, which he was required to do under the NMBA Criminal history registration standard.

Mr Pannell’s registration as a nurse lapsed on 31 May 2018 and he has not been registered since that time.

On 15 February 2019, the NMBA referred Mr Pannell to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal). Mr Pannell admitted the facts and that his behaviour amounted to professional misconduct.

On 25 September 2019, the tribunal disqualified Mr Pannell from applying for registration as a health practitioner for six months (backdated to the 3 September 2019 tribunal hearing) and ordered that he pay the NMBA’s costs.

The decision is published on the Austlii website.

1The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, as in force in each state and territory.
Page reviewed 21/01/2020