Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Tribunal bans nurse from providing health services for 15 years

Tribunal bans nurse from providing health services for 15 years

04 Jan 2022

A tribunal has ordered that an enrolled nurse be prohibited from providing any health service for 15 years after she was convicted of sexual offences against a child under 16. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred TFQ1 to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal), alleging that she: 

  • was convicted of sexual offences against a child under 16
  • failed to notify the Board that she had been charged with offences punishable by 12 months’ imprisonment or more, and
  • failed to declare that there had been a change to her criminal history in the preceding period of registration, when completing her application for renewal.

The offending occurred between September 2011 and December 2011, prior to TFQ being registered as an enrolled nurse. TFQ was first registered in June 2014 and was charged with the offences in November 2015. She was convicted in February 2018 and sentenced to six years and nine months imprisonment. 

TFQ admitted the allegations against her in the tribunal, however she continued to dispute that she had engaged in the underlying criminal conduct.

The tribunal found that TFQ’s conduct amounted to professional misconduct and ordered that TFQ:

  • be reprimanded
  • have her registration cancelled
  • be disqualified from applying for registration for 15 years, and
  • be prohibited for 15 years from engaging in or providing any health service, including to children, or to persons receiving disability, aged or home care, including as a personal care attendant.

The tribunal emphasised that it did not consider that TFQ should ever return to nursing, but that it was necessary to specify a period of disqualification.

The tribunal noted: ‘The offences involved in this case are abhorrent. They are indicative of decision-making, character, conduct and judgment so flawed as to be inconsistent with the trust and power inherent in the nurse-patient relationship. They are also inconsistent with the safe and appropriate care and handling of patients, including the intimate handling often involved in the care provided by a nurse.’

The tribunal’s decision was published on 13 October 2021 and is available on the Austlii website

1 Please note that the practitioner’s name is withheld due to a suppression order. 

 
 
Page reviewed 4/01/2022