Dr William Mooney – Medical Practitioner – Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct and Professional Misconduct

13 December 2021

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted complaints against Dr William Mooney, medical practitioner, before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’).

In the first complaint, it was alleged that Dr Mooney:

  • In relation to operating on Patient A on 15 February 2018:
    • inappropriately proceeded to operate and then exercised poor care, skill, and judgment during the operation.
    • Failed to have Patient A admitted to a high dependency unit or ICU.
    • Failed to personally review Patient A on 16 and 17 February 2018 before he was discharged.
  • In relation to Patient B :
    • When conducting an operation on 28 September 2017, excessively reduced the Patient’s middle turbinates and then failed to sufficiently trial him on medical therapy before operating again on 24 November 2017. 
    • During an operation on 24 November 2017,  damaging the patients right anterior cerebral artery, causing intra-cranial trauma. He failed to identify this or consult imaging during the procedure.
    • After the operation on 24 November 2017,  but before transfer to another hospital, he ought to have examined Patient B again.
  • From 2013-2016 , inappropriately formed a personal relationship with and prescribed medication to patient C; 
  • Misled the Medical Council of NSW delegates on 1 February 2017 in statements he made concerning patient C.
  • Failed to keep adequate records for patients A, B and C.

In a second complaint it was alleged that Dr Mooney breached conditions on his registration in 2017 and 2018 (which required him to practice under supervision and attend for hair drug screen testing in compliance with the Medical Council of NSW’s protocols). It was also alleged that Dr Mooney misled the Council delegates and the Commission in relation to his compliance with hair testing.

In its judgment on 13 December 2021 the Tribunal found:

  • Most of the allegations in relation to Patient A’s matter proved. 
  • Dr Mooney did not excessively reduce Patient B’s middle turbinates on 28 September 2017, but that the surgery and the failure to examine Patient B afterwards did not meet required standards.  
  • That Dr Mooney maintained an exploitative and inappropriate relationship with Patient C.
  • Dr Mooney’s overall record keeping for all three patients was unsatisfactory.
  • The Tribunal found that Dr Mooney practiced in breach of his conditions including by: practicing for one month without the required supervision, saw patients and practiced while certified as unwell instead of attending hair testing; and, failed to provide supporting information to explain his absence from the required testing. 
  • The Tribunal also found that Dr Mooney deliberately misled the Council delegates and the Commission.

The Tribunal found various specifical conduct within each complaint as well as each complaint overall amounted to amounted to professional misconduct.

The Tribunal will determine protective orders following a further (Stage 2) hearing.

Tribunal: The full decision can be found here: NSW Caselaw.

Further information

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 02 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.

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