Public Statement and Statement of Decision in relation to Mr Sajeev George Vaniyapurackal (also known as Mr Sajeev Vaniyapurackal George)

30 July 2019

The Commission issues the following public statement under section 41A(2)(b) of the Act:

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (the Commission) conducted an investigation into the conduct of Mr Sajeev George Vaniyapurackal (also known as Mr Sajeev Vaniyapurackal George), a non-registered health practitioner who provided services as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) while working at St George Public Hospital.

The complaints under investigation alleged that Mr Vaniyapurackal had engaged in inappropriate physical contact with three female patients (aged 93, 77 and 49 years) during night shifts between May and July 2017, under the pretext of conducting clinical observations while providing nursing care to the patients.

  • The investigation found that Mr Vaniyapurackal engaged in unnecessary physical contact with 2 of the 3 female patients (aged 77 and 49 years), in breach of the Code of Conduct for non-registered health practitioners [Schedule 3, Public Health Regulation 2012]. It found that Mr Vaniyapurackal violated the patients’ dignity and feeling of personal safety by engaging in contact that was not necessary for the purpose of carrying out his duties as an AIN.
  • The investigation found that Mr Vaniyapurackal had engaged in similar conduct in relation to both female patients, which involved touching their breast / chest without a proper clinical reason and in a manner that could only be described as deliberate.
  • The investigation found that in respect to the 49 year old patient in particular, Mr Vaniyapurackal failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries. Some of his contact with her was more akin to the expression of physical affection as opposed to appropriate touching in the course of providing nursing services. This included stroking her arms, face and hair and kissing her forehead.
  • The investigation also found that Mr Vaniyapurackal performed a physical examination of the 49 year old patient that was beyond the scope of his practise as an AIN and, further, that he failed to make a record of this examination or inform the Registered Nurse on duty that he had conducted the examination. The examination involved exposing the patient’s breasts and genital area.

Mr Vaniyapurackal did not have sufficient regard to the impact of his actions on the patients who were vulnerable by virtue of being in hospital and requiring nursing care. Further, both patients are from non-English speaking backgrounds and in each case the conduct occurred either late at night or in the very early hours of the morning when the Hospital ward was darkened and the curtains were pulled closed around the patient’s bed.

Prohibition Order:

Due to Mr Vaniyapurackal’s poor grasp of professional boundaries and his limited insight, the investigation found that Mr Vaniyapurackal poses a risk to the health and safety of the public.

The Commission therefore makes the following prohibition order:

Mr Sajeev George Vaniyapurackal (also known as Mr Sajeev Vaniyapurackal George) is permanently prohibited from providing health services, as defined in s.4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993, whether on a paid or voluntary basis.

Further Information

Access the Commission’s Public Statement and Statement of Decision here.

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444.