Dr Catherine Elise Denshire (also known as Dr Elise Lowick) – Unsatisfactory professional conduct

27 Feb 2018

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against psychologist Dr Catherine Elise Denshire (also known as Dr Elise Lowick) before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’). The complaint alleged unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct in relation to a number of text messages Dr Denshire sent Client A, a high school aged student to whom she was providing psychological care. The Commission alleged that the texts which were sent to Client A in February and March 2016 breached proper professional boundaries and included content that was unprofessional and capable of being misinterpreted. 

The complaint also alleged that Dr Denshire breached client confidentiality by releasing information about other clients to the Commission during its investigation and that Dr Denshire failed to keep complete records of her treatment of Client A.  

Decision

On 16 February 2018 the Tribunal found Dr Denshire was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct in relation to the sending the text messages to Client A and her incomplete record keeping. The Tribunal found that Dr Denshire’s conduct in providing information about other clients to the Commission did not amount to unsatisfactory professional conduct. The Tribunal found that the psychologist was not guilty of professional misconduct, noting that her conduct “did not involve a breach of trust as between psychologist and patient and did not occur over a long period of time”. It also noted that Dr Denshire had expressed genuine remorse and contrition about her conduct, and undertaken changes to her methods of practice. 

In its protective orders, the Tribunal ordered that Dr Denshire be reprimanded and imposed conditions on her registration relating to:

  • mentoring
  • supervision
  • record auditing, and
  • training and education.

 

Further Information

The full decision is available at NSW Caselaw

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.