07 Dec 2023
A tribunal has disqualified an enrolled nurse from applying for registration for five years and ordered a concurrent prohibition to provide certain health services after he used unnecessary force towards an elderly patient.
Content warning: Some readers may find this article distressing. If you are experiencing distress, please visit the NM Support website or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help.
On 29 July 2020, Mr Francis (Richard) Logan was an enrolled nurse with 44 years’ experience working at the Older Persons Acute (Psychiatry) Unit of a health facility. Mr Logan intervened when his colleagues attempted to help patient P, an elderly dementia patient, with her shower. He used unnecessary force including dragging P out of bed and into the shower, forcibly undressing P without consent, showering P and refusing to stop and leave the room when asked by both P and his colleagues. He was verbally aggressive towards P including swearing and had failed to work under the direction and collaboratively with his colleagues who were two registered nurses. In intervening in P’s care, Mr Logan had left another patient, who was at high risk of falls unattended.
After investigation, Mr Logan’s employer terminated his employment and notified the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). The NMBA suspended his registration under its immediate action powers in September 2020 and following further investigation referred Mr Logan to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal).
The tribunal found that Mr Logan had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and ordered that he:
The tribunal found that the conduct was serious and a “brutal attack on a highly vulnerable patient’s person, autonomy and dignity.” Such conduct is unacceptable and the tribunal cautioned that those who engage in it will likely find that their career will come to an end.
In consideration of the seriousness of the conduct, and Mr Logan’s early admissions and insight, the tribunal stated that the determinations were necessary to signal to the profession and the public that the conduct is far below expected standards, is inconsistent with being a fit and proper person to hold registration and will not be tolerated.
The tribunal’s decision was made on 14 June 2023 and is available on Austlii.