Ms Simone Achurch - Disqualified for 2 years
18 July 2019
The Health Care Complaints Commission (‘HCCC’) prosecuted a Complaint before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) against Ms Simone Achurch, a formerly registered nurse. In 2016, Ms Achurch was convicted of two counts of supplying a prohibited drug, contrary to s25(1) of the Drugs Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985. The convictions related to one instance of suppling 53.2 grams of methylamphetamine and one instance of supplying 55.7 grams of methylamphetamine.
The Complaint alleged that Ms Achurch was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct as she had engaged in improper and/or unethical behaviour. In particular she failed to provide details of any change of her criminal history in her 2014 and 2015 AHPRA registration renewal forms and she failed to notify AHPRA within 7 days of being charged with a number of offences. This is in breach of sections 109(1)(b) and 130(1) of the National Law. It was also alleged that Ms Achurch made false and misleading statements on her 2014 and 2015 AHPRA registration renewal forms as she falsely answered “no” to questions concerning changes in her criminal history. These matters, as well as Ms Achurch’s criminal convictions were argued as rendering her unsuitable to hold registration as a nurse.
On 8 February 2019, the Tribunal published its Stage 1 decision. It found that Ms Achurch had been convicted of criminal offences in the State of NSW and that she was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct. The Tribunal found that Ms Achurch was not suitable to hold registration as a nurse. The full Stage 1 decision is available at NSW Caselaw.
The matter then proceeded to a Stage 2 hearing on 24 May 2019, to determine the appropriate protective orders. On 15 July 2019, the Tribunal published its Stage 2 decision. It found that the circumstances of Ms Achurch’s offences rendered her unfit in the public interest to practise as a nurse. The Tribunal ordered that had Ms Achurch been registered, they would have cancelled her registration. She was disqualified from being registered as a nurse for a period of two years. The full Stage 2 decision is available at NSW Caselaw.
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to email@example.com.
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.