Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Tribunal cancels registration of nurse who received money from elderly patient

Tribunal cancels registration of nurse who received money from elderly patient

17 Feb 2022

A tribunal has cancelled a registered nurse’s registration after he received over $100,000 from an aged care patient. 

Between June 2014 and February 2017, Mr Nithin Kattampally Cherian breached professional boundaries when he was over-involved with, and improperly received money from, an aged care resident in his care, CD. 

Mr Cherian received the money in numerous forms, including:

  • accepting the transfer of a car, purchased by CD, into his name
  • cash
  • use of CD’s bank card, and
  • accepting payment for education, flights and tickets to the ICC Cricket World Cup in Sydney.

From in or around July 2016 to December 2016, CD unsuccessfully attempted to recover the money from Mr Cherian. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) received a notification about Mr Cherian’s conduct in December 2016 and took immediate action that month to suspend his registration and he has not practised since that time.

Following Mr Cherian’s departure from the aged care facility, between January and February 2017, Mr Cherian contacted CD on multiple occasions with a view to having the notification against him withdrawn.

The NMBA referred Mr Cherian to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal) and Mr Cherian ultimately admitted that he engaged in the alleged conduct. 

The tribunal found that Mr Cherian had engaged in professional misconduct and ordered that he:

  • be reprimanded
  • have his registration cancelled
  • be disqualified from applying for registration as a health practitioner until 17 February 2024, and
  • is prohibited from providing, including as a personal care attendant, certain health services until 17 February 2024.

The tribunal noted that: ‘There was gross financial exploitation of a vulnerable elderly patient, sustained over a lengthy period of time. There were very many transactions, and Mr Cherian received in excess of $100,000. Mr Cherian had numerous opportunities to reflect on his conduct and desist, but he persisted.  His offending was compounded by his coercive and intimidatory conduct towards CD when he realised that his conduct had been reported.’ 

The tribunal’s decision was published on 7 December 2021 and is available on the Austlii website.  

 
 
 
Page reviewed 17/02/2022