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Allegation and Plea
The College alleged that the Member failed to cooperate with the Quality Assurance Committee, and that this conduct would be regarded as dishonourable, disgraceful or unprofessional.
The Member was neither present nor represented by counsel at the hearing. The hearing proceeded on the basis that the Member denied the allegations.
The Panel heard from one witness and received five exhibits.
College staff testified that the Member was sent a letter on March 25, 2011, informing her that she had been selected for Practice Assessment, the required elements of the process, and the deadline for completion. On July 22, 2011, the Member was sent a further letter acknowledging that the required elements of Practice Assessment had not yet been completed and again providing the instructions for completion. On November 4, 2011, a letter was sent to the Member notifying her that a report had been made to the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee as a result of her failure to complete Practice Assessment. At no point did the Member contact the College in response to any of the above correspondence. The Member failed to participate in or complete any portion of the process.
The Panel found that the evidence supported findings that the Member committed acts of professional misconduct in that she failed to cooperate with the QA Committee, contravened a provision of the Nursing Act, and engaged in conduct that would be reasonably regarded as dishonourable and unprofessional. The panel noted that despite multiple opportunities, she chose not to participate. The Member displayed a serious and persistent disregard for her professional obligations and a core component of self-regulation.
The panel made no finding with regard to contravening the standards of practice.
Submissions on Order
The College sought an oral reprimand and a four-month suspension. Prior to returning to practice, the Member would be required to complete specified remedial activities in preparation for a meeting with a Nursing Expert. The Member would also be required to participate in the College’s Quality Assurance program within 24 months from the date her suspension ended. The Member would be required to pay the College its legal costs and expenses incurred for investigating the matter and conducting the hearing in the amount of $500 within six months of the date of the order.
The Panel found that repeated disregard for the QA process was of serious concern and demonstrated a degree of ungovernability. The penalty satisfied the principles of specific and general deterrence, remediation, and protection of the public interest. The Panel rejected the College’s submission for cost recovery in the amount of $500 as the proposed sum was not significant enough to be meaningful with respect to specific or general deterrence.