Dr Michel Ward – Unsatisfactory professional conduct

25 Sep 2017

The Commission prosecuted a complaint against Dr Michael Ward, a medical practitioner, before a Medical Council Professional Standards Committee. The Complaint related to treatment received by Patient A during his third presentation in several days to the Emergency Department of Mudgee Hospital in January 2015.

The Complaint alleged that Dr Ward had engaged in the following conduct:

  • Relied on the advice of a member of the nursing staff that Patient A had been cleared of cardiac issues;
  • Failed to verify Patient A’s cardiac status;
  • Failed to take an adequate history of Patient A;
  • Failed to properly review Patient A’s ECG;
  • Failed to develop an appropriate management plan for Patient A;
  • Dr Ward’s clinical diagnosis of bronchitis lacked clinical justification;
  • Failed to admit Patient A to hospital given that it was his third presentation in several days;
  • Gave an inappropriate direction that Patient A be discharged;
  • Failed to make adequate records.

The matter was heard on 17 and 18 August 2017.  The Commission’s expert, as well as a number of nursing and medical staff, gave evidence at the hearing.
Dr Ward also gave evidence.  Dr Ward did not admit any of the conduct.

Decision 

On 13 September 2017 the Committee found Dr Ward guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and he was reprimanded.  Dr Ward is required to obtain approval from the Medical Council of NSW prior to changing the nature or place of his practice to one involving practice in an Emergency Department, including as a locum General Practitioner. If approval is granted, Dr Ward must complete a 6 month course in Emergency Medicine.  He must also complete an online course in medical record keeping.


Further Information

A copy of the Professional Standards Committee’s decision can be found here

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.