Dr Bruce Litchfield - Medical Practitioner – Conditions Imposed for Professional Misconduct and Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct

1 September 2022

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Medical Practitioner Dr Bruce Litchfield before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“the Tribunal”).

It was alleged that in 2019, while working at a general practice in Tweed Heads, Dr Litchfield:

  • Made inappropriate comments to a patient during consultations and asked her inappropriate questions.
  • Purported to provide psychological counselling to the patient about topics which Dr Litchfield knew were already being addressed by specialists,  and were likely to be distressing and had the potential to compromise the patient’s health.
  • Failed to record sufficient information in his medical notes.

On 31 August 2022, the Tribunal found the complaint proven. The Tribunal found Dr Litchfield guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.

The Tribunal imposed stricter conditions on Dr Litchfield’s registration.

The Tribunal remarked that “The unsatisfactory professional conduct which we have found proved involves serious boundary violations with insensitive, offensive and inappropriate remarks to a patient who the Respondent knew, or should have known, was vulnerable and whose health was likely to be adversely impacted by such violations.”

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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