RN Mr Zachary Hollis – Disqualification for Professional misconduct

24th January 2019

RN Mr Zachary Hollis – Disqualification for Professional misconduct.
 
The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Mr Zachary Hollis, a registered nurse, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“the Tribunal”). Mr Hollis worked at Shellharbour Hospital in the Mirrabrook Mental Health Unit. The complaint alleged that Mr Hollis failed to observe proper professional boundaries in relation to a female patient who had recently been admitted to the Mirrabrook Mental Health Unit in that he:
• provided the patient with his mobile number
• collected the patient from Shellharbour Hospital and escorted her to his parents’ house following her self-discharge from another mental health unit at Shellharbour Hospital
• invited the patient to stay with him at his parents’ home for two evenings
• lived with the patient in her rental property for approximately a six week period
• commenced and maintained a sexual relationship with the patient for approximately a six week period, and
• used cannabis with the patient’s knowledge during the period of co-habitation.
 
The complaint also alleged that Mr Hollis:
• accessed the patient’s medical records without permission on four occasions
• failed to disclose his relationship with the patient to management or seek professional  guidance, and
• made a written statement to his employer regarding the incident with the patient that was false and misleading.
 
On 2 January 2019  the Tribunal found that Mr Hollis was guilty of professional misconduct.  The Tribunal found Mr Hollis’s conduct was of such a serious nature and of multiple varieties that a finding of professional misconduct must follow despite his limited experience as a nurse. The Tribunal also found Mr Hollis tried to minimise the objective seriousness of some of his conduct and seemed to lack insight into his behaviour.
 
The Tribunal ordered that Mr Hollis:
• is disqualified from being a registered nurse for a 24 month period;
• is prohibited from working as an Assistant in Nursing and from providing any of the following health services as defined in s4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 unless and until he is registered as a nurse: therapy, counselling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy; welfare services; mental health services; services provided in other alternative healthcare fields.
 
The decision is available at
NSW Caselaw.

 

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.