Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Nurse who spat at her elderly patient disqualified from applying for registration for two years

07 Jul 2023

A tribunal has cancelled a nurse’s registration and disqualified her from applying for two years after she spat at a vulnerable patient and used vulgar language.

On 4 May 2019, Ms Anita Du Maurier was working at an aged care lock down facility dedicated to caring for people with dementia. Ms Du Maurier was was one of the more senior staff on site with over 28 years of experience at the time. 

Ms Du Maurier was notified of the risk of a resident (A) spitting and refusing her food. However, after resident A spat at her, Ms Du Maurier responded by spitting back. Shortly after this incident Ms

Du Maurier used vulgar language or inappropriate communication in the vicinity of staff members under her supervision and other residents.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) suspended Ms Du Maurier’s registration and referred her to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal).

The Tribunal found that Ms Du Maurier had engaged in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and ordered that she:

  • be reprimanded,
  • have her registration cancelled, and
  • be disqualified from applying for registration as a registered health practitioner for a period of two years from the date of the order; and be prohibited for a period of 2 years from the date of the order whether as an employee, contractor, manager or volunteer and including as a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or equivalent, and whether directly or indirectly providing any health service involving provision of care to persons in rehabilitation facilities, palliative care facilities, residential aged care, or to persons receiving home or community based aged care or disability care.  

The Tribunal agreed with the NMBA’s submission that the conduct and comments, regarding a vulnerable resident and in this instance one with dementia, was undermining, disrespectful and did not promote the dignity and human rights of the resident. ‘It was absent compassion. It was clearly in breach of the Code of Ethics which requires nurses to demonstrates professional values such as respectfulness, responsiveness, compassion, trustworthiness, and integrity.’

The Tribunal’s decision was made on 11 January 2023 and corrections made 3 February 2023 the decision is available on theAustlii website and corrections can be found on Jade.  

Page reviewed 7/07/2023