Public Statement – Mr Lloyd Palmer – Mental Health Worker – Permanent Prohibition Order

3 March 2022

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (the Commission) investigated the conduct of Mr Lloyd Palmer. Mr Palmer was previously employed as a Mental Health Case Worker in regional Northern NSW.

In his capacity as a Mental Health Worker, Mr Palmer is considered to be an unregistered health practitioner and subject to the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners (Code of Conduct) set out in schedule 3 of the Public Health Regulation 2012.

In May 2021, Mr Palmer’s employer, The Buttery Rehab NSW, received multiple complaints concerning Mr Palmer’s conduct as a Mental Health Case Worker and his repeated failure to observe professional boundaries with multiple clients. This included, but was not limited to, making inappropriate sexualised comments, encouraging clients to live with him, making disparaging comments to clients about their mental health, arranging his wife to massage clients and making inappropriate sexual suggestions to clients.

A number of Mr Palmer’s clients came forward to The Buttery to make complaints and express their discomfort with his behaviour and an investigation was conducted by The Buttery. In May 2021, Mr Palmer was suspended from his position at the Buttery. Mr Palmer did not meaningfully engage with the investigation and was terminated from his employment in June 2021.

The Commission considers that Mr Palmer lacks insight into the seriousness of the allegations made against him. Mr Palmer has failed to meaningfully engage with either the investigation of his former workplace or of the Commission as the independent regulator.

Mr Palmer’s most recent communications with the Commission were extremely concerning in both tone and content.

As a result of this failure to engage, the Commission is unable to make an appropriate assessment of the risk to the health and safety of the public in Mr Palmer providing health services.

The Commission considers that based on Mr Palmer’s conduct, he has breached clause 3(1) of the Code of Conduct, in that he failed to provide health services in a safe and ethical manner.

The Commission also considers that Mr Palmer poses a risk to the health and safety of members of the public.

Accordingly, the Commission has issued a permanent prohibition order against Mr Palmer in the following terms:

Mr Lloyd Palmer, a Mental Health Worker, is permanently prohibited from providing any health services, either in paid employment or voluntarily, to any member of the public.

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

Further Information

Access to the Commission's media release 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.
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