Ms Kristen Shrimpton – Stage 1 – Professional misconduct

20 February 2019

Ms Kristen Shrimpton – Stage 1 – Professional misconduct.

The Health Care Complaints Commission brought a complaint against registered nurse Ms Kristen Shrimpton before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) concerning her theft and misuse of an elderly patient’s credit card in the week before her death.

The complaint alleged that in late August and early September 2016, Ms Shrimpton took the patient’s credit card from her handbag and then used it for personal gain at various retail outlets in Gosford, NSW.  The Commission alleged that:
• when challenged over the phone by the patient’s son about the credit card use, on two occasions Ms Shrimpton then gave a false account to the hospital about her knowledge of the credit card misuse.   
• Ms Shrimpton gave false or misleading accounts to the Commission about her theft and misuse of the cards when the Commission required her to provide it with information.
• Ms Shrimpton failed to notify the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, as required, about her criminal charge in relation to her theft. 
• Ms Shrimpton’s conduct amounted to professional misconduct sufficiently serious to justify the suspension or cancellation of her nursing registration.

In its decision of 19 February 2019 the Tribunal found all allegations against Ms Shrimpton proved and she was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.  The Tribunal remarked that:

The exploitation of a frail, aged and vulnerable patient is conduct of a nature which strikes at the heart of public confidence in the profession. What Ms Shrimpton then said to the bereaved son of Patient A after her death about the credit card further diminished trust which the public should be entitled to hold in in the profession. To make matters worse Ms Shrimpton then compounded her conduct with her lack of candour with her colleagues, AHPRA and the Commission.

A copy of the decision may be found on the NSW Caselaw website.

The Tribunal will consider submissions from the Commission and Ms Shrimpton on what protective orders to make.  Ms Shrimpton’s registration remains suspended.

Further Information

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.