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Notifications Committee

The Council has established a Notifications Committee to assist it in the assessment of notifications (complaints). The Council has delegated to the members of the Notifications Committee the power to take certain courses of action in relation to notifications (complaints).  The Council has also delegated to the members of the Notifications Committee the power to suspend nurses, midwives or students in cases where urgent action is required for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of any person or persons, or otherwise in the public interest. In other cases, the committee may recommend to the Council that the registration of nurse, midwife or student may be suspended or that conditions be imposed upon his or her registration.

Before any action is taken concerning a complaint, the Council and the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) must consult to see if agreement can be reached between them as to the course of action to be taken concerning the complaint. Representatives of the Commission meet with the Notifications Committee for this purpose. The Notifications Committee is usually constituted by two members of the Council, a registered nurse and a community member. However, in cases where there is a notification or complaint about an enrolled nurse or midwife, the committee will usually include an enrolled nurse or registered midwife.

Following consultation, some notifications are assessed as being primarily issues relating to the health or professional performance of a nurse or midwife and are referred to the Council for management. The Committee determines how these matters are to be managed and may refer the health practitioner for performance and/or health assessment. The Committee will consider performance and medical assessment reports and determine whether to refer matters for further inquiry by an Impaired Registrants Panel or Performance Review Panel. Some matters are assessed as warranting counselling and are referred to the Counselling Committee by the Notifications Committee.

Where it is considered that there may be a serious issue warranting disciplinary action by either the HCCC or the Notifications Committee, the complaint is referred to the HCCC for investigation. When an investigation is completed, further consultation occurs between the Notifications Committee and the Commission to determine whether it is necessary to refer the matter to a Tribunal or Professional Standards Committee for inquiry. Where it is considered that professional disciplinary action is not warranted, the matter may be:

  • referred by the Health Care Complaints Commission to another body for further action;
  • referred to the Health Conciliation Registry for conciliation;
  • referred back to the Council for management as a performance or health issue.

In some instances, it is considered that no further action should be taken in regards to complaints (notifications).