In this Division—
Committee means a Professional Standards Committee.
relevant health practitioner means a health practitioner registered under this Law in the—(a) medical profession; or(b) nursing and midwifery profession.
(1) There are to be Professional Standards Committees established for the purposes of this Law.(2) A Committee has and may exercise the jurisdiction and functions conferred or imposed on it by or under this Law.
(1) A Council must establish a Committee when a complaint about a relevant health practitioner is referred to a Committee.(2) A Council establishes a Committee by appointing 4 persons to sit as the Committee for the purpose of conducting an inquiry into the complaint.
(1) A Committee consists of—(a) 2 registered health practitioners who—(i) are registered in the same health profession as the relevant health practitioner the subject of the proceedings before the Committee; and(ii) have the qualifications, if any, prescribed by the NSW regulations for that profession; and(b) one person who is an Australian lawyer and not a registered health practitioner and who is to be appointed by the Council as Chairperson of the Committee; and(c) one person, appointed from among a panel of persons for the time being nominated by the Minister, who—(i) is not a registered health practitioner or student in the same health profession as the relevant health practitioner the subject of the proceedings before the Committee; and(ii) has not at any time been registered as a health practitioner or student in that health profession under this Law or a corresponding prior Act.(2) A person who is a member of the Council may not be appointed to sit on a Committee.(3) A member of a Committee, while sitting on the Committee, is entitled to be paid by the Council at a rate decided by the Minister.(4) The rate must be decided by the Minister in consultation with the Council.
One or more Committees may conduct more than one inquiry at the same time.
A decision supported by at least 3 members of a Committee on any question arising during an inquiry is the decision of the Committee.
An order of a Committee takes effect on—(a) the day the order is made; or(b) if a later day is specified in the order, that day.
A Committee must inform the Executive Officer of the exercise of any power by the Committee under Subdivision 3 of Division 3.
(1) The Chairperson of a Committee may exercise the following powers of the Committee—(a) the power to terminate an inquiry;(b) the power to hand down a decision of the Committee on an inquiry.(2) A power of the Committee exercised by the Chairperson of the Committee is taken to have been exercised by the Committee.
(1) A Committee must hold an inquiry into a complaint about a relevant health practitioner that is referred to it.(2) No inquiry need be held into the complaint if the relevant health practitioner admits the subject-matter of the complaint in writing to the Committee.(3) On appointment, the Chairperson of the Committee must fix a time and place for the holding of an inquiry by the Committee into the complaint.(4) The Chairperson must give not less than 14 days’ notice of the inquiry to—(a) the relevant health practitioner; and(b) the complainant, if any; and(c) (Repealed)(d) the Council for the health profession in which the practitioner is registered; and(e) the Commission.
(1) Subject to this section, the Committee may conduct proceedings on the inquiry as it thinks fit.(2) Proceedings of the Committee are to be open to the public unless the Committee directs otherwise.(3) The Committee is not to direct that proceedings are to be closed to the public unless satisfied it is desirable to do so in the public interest because of—(a) the subject-matter of the inquiry; or(b) the nature of the evidence to be given.(4) The Committee may be assisted by an Australian lawyer appointed, at the request of the Committee, by the Executive Officer of the Council.
(1) At the inquiry held by the Committee, the relevant health practitioner and any complainant are entitled to attend and to be represented by—(a) an Australian legal practitioner; or(b) with the leave of the Chairperson of the Committee, another adviser.(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the Committee from addressing questions directly to the relevant health practitioner.(3) The Committee may grant leave for any other person to appear at the inquiry if the Committee is satisfied it is appropriate for the person to appear.(4) This section does not prevent the Committee from proceeding in the absence of the relevant health practitioner or the complainant, if the practitioner or complainant has been given notice of the inquiry.
(1) The Committee may adjourn proceedings for any reason it thinks fit.(2) The Committee may, during any proceedings, exercise any power or combination of powers conferred on a Committee by section 146B, except the power to caution or reprimand.
(1) The Committee must immediately terminate the inquiry if, before or during the inquiry, the Committee—(a) forms the opinion the complaint, if substantiated, may provide grounds for the suspension or cancellation of the registration of the relevant health practitioner; or(b) becomes aware the Council or the Commission has referred the complaint or another complaint about the practitioner to the Tribunal.(2) Subsection (1)(a) does not apply to a complaint that the Council decided not to refer to the Tribunal because the allegations on which it, and any other pending complaint against the practitioner, was founded related solely or principally to the practitioner’s physical or mental capacity to practise the practitioner’s profession.(3) If the Committee terminates an inquiry, it must refer the complaint to the Tribunal unless it has already been referred to the Tribunal.(4) The Tribunal to which the complaint is referred may be the Tribunal as already constituted to deal with another complaint or the Tribunal as constituted to deal with the referred complaint.(5) The Committee must inform the Council when it takes any action under this section.
(1) The Committee must give a written statement of its decision on the inquiry to the following within one month after the decision is made—(a) the complainant;(b) the relevant health practitioner;(c) the Council.(2) The statement of decision must—(a) set out any findings on material questions of fact; and(b) refer to any evidence or other material on which the findings were based; and(c) give reasons for the decision.(3) The Committee may also give the statement of decision to any other person the Committee thinks fit.(4) The Council—(a) must make publicly available the statement of decision if the decision is in respect of a complaint that has been proved or admitted in whole or in part; and(b) may disseminate any other statement of decision as the Council thinks fit.(5) Subsection (4) does not apply if the Committee has ordered that the statement is not to be made publicly available.
(1) A Committee is not required to include confidential information in a statement of a decision given to a person.(2) If the statement would be false or misleading if it did not include the confidential information, the Committee is not required to provide the statement.(3) If confidential information is not included in the statement of a decision given to a person, or a statement is not given to a person because of subsection (2), the Committee must give the person a confidential information notice.(4) A confidential information notice must be given within one month of the decision.(5) This section does not affect the power of a court to make an order for the discovery of documents or to require the giving of evidence or the production of documents to a court, subject to the provisions of this Law relating to protected reports.