Practitioner disqualified for engaging in professional misconduct

03 Nov 2017

An occupational therapist has been reprimanded, disqualified from applying for registration for six months and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 after admitting to engaging in professional misconduct.

In September 2017, the State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) in Western Australia heard that the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (the Board) and the practitioner had agreed on terms upon which the matter could be settled.

In reaching the agreement, the practitioner admitted that her implementation of the the Process with a family in August 2014 constituted professional misconduct.

During that period, the practitioner breached the Code of Conduct for Occupational Therapists and behaved in a way that constituted professional misconduct by failing to:

  • adequately assess the child or the family taking into account their history, including relevant psychological, social and cultural aspects
  • obtain any information regarding the child from any other treating health practitioners, any baseline data of the child’s behaviour or an adequate medical history of the child
  • establish adequate clinical evidence for the implementation of the Process
  • have the informed consent of the parents to implement the Process
  • adequately explain to the children who she was or what she was doing
  • provide adequate responses or explanations to the parents when they raised concerns about, or questioned, the Process
  • recognise the potential power imbalance in her therapeutic relationship with the members of the family and take steps to address the effects of this
  • keep adequate clinical records, and
  • issue receipts for the funds paid by the family in respect of the treatment.

On 28 September 2017 the tribunal found the practitioner had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and ordered that she be disqualified from applying for registration for six months. She was reprimanded and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.

The State Administrative Tribunal has published the decision on its website.

Page reviewed 3/11/2017