Conduct and standards

Reporting misconduct

Under the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act (2003) (external site), the Chief Executive of the North Metropolitan Health Service (external site) has obligations to both the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) (external site) and the Public Sector Commission (PSC) (external site) in relation to reporting suspected misconduct by staff.

Complaints are different to misconduct. A complaint is generally an expression of dissatisfaction by or on behalf of an individual consumer/carer regarding any aspect of service provided by North Metropolitan Health Service (including King Edward Memorial Hospital). Read more about how to share your feedback about King Edward Memorial Hospital.

Types of misconduct

Staff misconduct, however, could concern issues such as allegations of:

  • sexual impropriety – behaviour that is sexually demeaning to a consumer including comments or gestures
  • sexual misconduct
  • breaches of patient confidentiality
  • physical or mental impairment of a health care professional which comprises the care of a consumer (for example, under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
  • fraud or illegal practice of a financial nature
  • theft by a public officer
  • medication issues, where it is alleged that the loss of patient’s own medication is as a result of the actions of a public officer (for example, theft).

The Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act (2003) defines two types of misconduct – serious and minor.

Serious misconduct

Serious misconduct is when a public officer, for example a staff member either:

  • acts corruptly or corruptly fails to act in the course of their duties
  • corruptly takes advantage of their position for the benefit or detriment of any person
  • commits an offence which carries a penalty of two or more years.

Examples include:

  • abuse of public office
  • blackmail
  • bribery
  • deliberately releasing confidential information
  • extortion
  • obtaining or offering a secret commission
  • fraud or stealing
  • forgery
  • perverting the course of justice.

Read more information on serious misconduct reporting and processes:

Minor misconduct

Minor misconduct is behaviour by a public officer which either:

  • adversely affects the honest or impartial performance of the functions of a public authority or public officer
  • involves the performance of functions in a manner that is not honest or impartial
  • involves a breach of the trust placed in the public officer
  • involves the misuse of information or material that the public officer has acquired in connection with their functions as a public officer, whether the misuse is for the benefit of the public officer or the benefit or detriment of another person

and constitutes, or could constitute:

  • a disciplinary offence providing reasonable grounds for the termination of a person’s office or employment as a public service officer under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (whether or not the public officer to whom the allegation relates is a public service officer or is a person whose office or employment could be terminated on the grounds of such conduct).

Read more information on minor misconduct reporting and processes:

If there is reasonable suspicion of misconduct

If there is reasonable suspicion of misconduct, the Chief Executive of the North Metropolitan Health Service is required to report:

  • serious misconduct matters to the CCC
  • minor misconduct matters to the PSC.

In both cases, however, to be reportable to either agency, there must first be reasonable grounds for making a notification. This will usually require some form of preliminary enquiry to be conducted to determine relevant facts and circumstances.

How to report misconduct

In the first instance, it is preferable for reports of misconduct to be sent to North Metropolitan Health Service via:

Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable in reporting misconduct directly to North Metropolitan Health Service, you can report as follows:

Public Interest Disclosures

Additionally, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 provides an avenue for people to come forward with information about wrongdoing without fear of reprisal.

The PID Act enables people to make disclosures about wrongdoing in the State public sector, local government and public universities without fear of reprisal. It aims to ensure openness and accountability in government by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.

More information is available via the Public Sector Commission website (external site).