The Health Professional Councils Authority is an administrative agency of the NSW Ministry of Health. We provide administrative, clinical and legal advice and services to the 14 health professional councils of NSW. These services support the decision-making of the councils' and their delegates in response to complaints about health practitioners in NSW. We also provide shared finance, IT and other services.
The councils are funded by a proportion of the annual registration fees of NSW-based health practitioners and they provide the financial resources for our operation.
The councils consult with the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) to decide which organisation will manage each complaint. Serious complaints may be investigated by the HCCC. Complaints referred to the councils are managed through the health, performance or conduct pathways. The aim of these pathways is not to punish, but to enhance a practitioner's ability to perform their work.
Depending on the pathway, the councils may:
- collect information from relevant parties, in writing or via an interview
- require the health practitioner to attend a health and/or performance assessment
- hold a panel or committee meeting to decide whether or not we need to restrict the health practitioner's practice to protect the safety of the public
- direct the health practitioner to attend counselling about professional standards
The councils consider:
- the health practitioner's individual circumstances, the complaint, their response to the complaint, and any other relevant information (including information requested from other parties and previous complaints)
- if the incident was serious, or is likely to occur again
- if the health practitioner has reflected and can demonstrate an understanding of why your practice or behaviour may have fallen short of acceptable standards
- the impact of their health on their practice
- if they have taken any action to ensure that a similar complaint does not occur again
The outcome of these assessments will determine the ongoing management of the complaint. Possible outcomes include:
- no further action
- education about specific aspects of practice
- conditions placed on a practitioner's registration
- prescribed treatment for a health condition
- a requirement to have ongoing testing for drug or alcohol use
- suspension of a practitioner's registration while a complaint is further investigated
The councils will advise Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency of these decisions so it can update the national register of health practitioners. The councils will monitor a practitioner's ongoing compliance with any orders or conditions on their registration.
The complainant will be kept informed at key points of the process.
We work with different partners and stakeholders in NSW and across Australia to protect the public by regulating registered health practitioners.
Engaging with the community is important to us. Our website enables the public to make complaints or provide us with feedback.
We also engage with the community, and particular groups such as health practitioner students through public presentations about our work. For more information about this service, contact us.
Your feedback is important to us to improve the information and services we provide to the community. We would be happy to hear from you if you have any questions or concerns about our work.