Mr David Cain – Professional misconduct

12 Jan 2018

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Mr David Cain, a credentialed mental health nurse and psychotherapist, before the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“the Tribunal”). The complaint alleged that Mr Cain had engaged in professional misconduct in relation to the care and treatment he provided to Patient A between 2009 and 2011. Patient A was in her mid-30s and suffered from borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. She had a lengthy history of disturbed sleep and Stillnox abuse. A coronial inquest found that in August 2011 Patient A died of “multiple drug toxicity” and had purchased illicit drugs on the day of her death. 

Specifically the complaint alleged that Mr Cain:

  • failed to keep adequate clinical records for Patient A;
  • inappropriately delivered Stillnox tablets to Patient A’s home or arranged for her to collect the tablets from another place without personally consulting her on approximately 63 occasions;
  • failed to provide regular updates to Patient A’s treating medical practitioner;
  • failed to advise Patient A’s treating medical practitioner that he was unable to adequately monitor Patient A;
  • failed to advise Patient A’s treating medical practitioner that she had consumed 14 Stillnox in a 24 hour period; and
  • failed to create and maintain a treatment plan for Patient A.


On 30 August 2017 the Tribunal found that Mr Cain was an unreliable witness and held that his conduct amounted to professional misconduct because it was objectively serious and occurred over an extended period of time.

On 30 November 2017 the Tribunal ordered the following protective orders:

  1. Mr Cain be reprimanded.
  2. Mr Cain’s practice be subject to the following conditions:

a) Mr Cain cannot work in solo practice for at least a 12 month period and any further period as determined appropriate by the Nursing and Midwifery Council;

b) Mr Cain must practice under supervision of a registered nurse and must meet with his supervisor monthly for at least one hour.

Further Information

The Stage 2 decision can be found at NSW Caselaw

The Stage 1 decision may be found at NSW Caselaw

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to

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