Public Statement in relation to Mrs Dana Maree Gray

15 Nov 2019

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (Commission) conducted an investigation into the conduct of Mrs Dana Gray, an unregistered health practitioner who provided services as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) at Estia Health “The Poplars” Aged Care Facility (Facility) in Epping between 2013 and 2017.

The Commission has determined that Mrs Gray has breached clause 3(1) of the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners made under the Public Health Regulations 2012, in that she failed to provide care in a safe and ethical manner for an 85 year old patient (Patient A).

On 22 August 2017 an employee of the Facility installed a camera in the bedroom of Patient A, who suffered from dementia and was considered to be a vulnerable person, entirely dependent on the full-time care of Facility staff and having an impairment of both intellectual and physical functioning.

The video recording captured Mrs Gray assaulting Patient A, which included slapping and pushing Patient A, aggressively removing Patient A’s clothing before taking a bag full of rubbish from the bin and hitting the left and right sides of her face. Patient A could be heard screaming and sobbing in the video. Mrs Gray exited the room leaving Patient A’s bed at chest level so that she was unable to sit or lie down for a number of hours.

On 26 October 2017 Mrs Gray was charged with common assault (domestic violence) under section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900. On 10 April 2018 Mrs Gray pleaded guilty to the charge at Burwood Local Court, and on 20 September 2018 Mrs Gray was convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 17 months to be served by way of home detention with a non-parole period of six months.

Given the circumstances of the breach of the Code of Conduct, the Commission is satisfied that Mrs Gray poses a risk to the health and safety of members of the public.

In her role as an AIN, Mrs Gray was responsible for the care and treatment of a number of elderly and vulnerable patients. Mrs Gray’s conduct towards Patient A was deliberate and involved repeated acts of violence on an extremely vulnerable victim who was entirely defenceless and who was unable to effectively communicate with staff as a result of her medical condition. Mrs Gray was afforded significant trust by family members of Patient A and the wider community to provide a safe environment and deliver appropriate health care. By her prolonged, gratuitous assault on Patient A, Mrs Gray took advantage of this trust and demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the health and wellbeing of Patient A.

The Commission therefore makes the following prohibition order:

  • Mrs Dana Maree Gray is permanently prohibited from providing any health services in any capacity, either paid or voluntary.

For the purposes of this order ‘a health service’ carries the same meaning as defined under section 4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993.

 

Further Information

Access the Commission's statement of decision 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