RNs Haridavan Pandya and Sumintra Prasad – Unsatisfactory professional conduct

02 Feb 2017

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted registered nurses Mr Haridavan Pandya and Mrs Sumintra Prasad before a Professional Standards Committee concerning their care of a mental health patient at Bungarribee House mental health unit in Blacktown hospital on 28 February 2014.  The patient was found deceased in his room during their shift shortly after Nurse Pandya had left the ward and Nurse Prasad returned from a handover meeting of nurses.

The Commission alleged that Mr Pandya:

  • at the commencement of his shift failed to obtain permission from the team leader to leave his shift early;
  • inappropriately left his shift early without obtaining permission, without ensuring he had given a handover of his patients or checked the ward was adequately staffed;
  • failed to give a proper handover of his patients to another nurse before leaving his shift early;
  • failed to make his last two required observations of the patient before leaving his shift early;
  • failed to make any clinical notes during his shift for the patient.

Decision

The Professional Standards Committee found all particulars proved and that Mr Pandya’s conduct amounted to unsatisfactory professional conduct.  The Professional Standards Committee reprimanded Mr Pandya and restricted how he works as a nurse, ordered that he only work while supervised, and ordered that he complete further education specific to mental health care.

The Commission alleged that Mrs Prasad signed off on the patient’s observation chart three times without having any direct contact or interaction with the patient.  The Professional Standards Committee found this occurred but that Mrs Prasad’s conduct was not serious enough to amount to unsatisfactory professional conduct.  The Commission also alleged that Mrs Prasad left the floor of the ward to give a handover without properly checking that there were adequate staff numbers. The Professional Standards Committee agreed and found her conduct amounted to unsatisfactory professional conduct and ordered that Mrs Prasad be cautioned.


Further Information

The Committee’s Statement of Decision may be read 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.