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Health Pathway

The key aim of the health pathway is allow the Council to deal with identified concerns relating to a nurse, midwife or student with an impairment. The health pathway relies on cooperation from the relevant nurse, midwife or student. A key benefit of the pathway for the nurse, midwife or student is the confidential nature of the process. The pathway has the aim of managing nurses, midwives or students who have an impairment in a supportive and non-disciplinary manner, whilst maintaining them in practice or training when it is safe to do so. The health pathway is not intended to deal with serious conduct matters. A nurse, midwife or student may be in the Health Pathway for a number of years, particularly if they have a chronic or relapsing condition.

Health Assessment

The Council may refer a health practitioner or student for a health assessment by a Council-appointed practitioner. The appointed Health Assessor will produce a Health Assessment report for the Council. The Council will consider the Health Assessment report and may decide to refer the matter to a Impaired Registrants Panel for further inquiry.

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Impaired Registrants Panel

If a health assessor concludes that a nurse, midwife or student is impaired, the Council may decide to refer the matter to a Impaired Registrants Panel (IRP) for consideration.

The Health Assessment report will be the key evidence before the IRP. An IRP is composed of three members, including two nurses or midwives from the same profession as the nurse or midwife and one medical member. If the practitioner is a Nurse, then at least one of the two practitioner panel members must also be from the same Division. One of the three members will be appointed as the Chair.

The IRP must be conducted with as little formality and technicality and as much expedition as possible. IRPs are conducted in the absence of the public. 

The nurse, midwife or student affected is entitled to make oral and/or written representations to the IRP and to have a support person accompany them to the IRP. The support person may be a Australian legal practitioner, or other person, but the support person may NOT represent the nurse, midwife or student.

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