Following acceptance of all 28 recommendations made by Professor Ron Paterson in his report Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia , the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) have commenced implementation.
Key implementations around how the MBA deals with allegations of sexual misconduct include:
- After informing MBA boards and committees that it had accepted all the recommendations in the report, no new decisions have been made by the Board to require a practitioner to practise with a chaperone present.
- A National Sexual Boundaries Notifications Committee has been established to deal with all matters about sexual misconduct.
- All practitioners subject to a chaperone requirement are currently being audited to ensure the restriction is adequately protecting the public. Since 1 July 2017, 25% of all practitioners affected have been audited.
- Specialist AHPRA investigators have been identified and received specialist training to manage complaints and/or concerns about sexual misconduct.
- A National Specialist Compliance Team has been established within AHPRA to monitor practitioners with conditions related to allegations of sexual misconduct.
- Members of the National Sexual Boundaries Notifications Committee and the staff that engage with victims have received training from Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service.
- Inroads have been made into establishing clear inter-agency protocols with police departments across Australia. This includes the appointment of a dedicated senior legal officer who will manage information disclosure to and relationships with police jurisdictions across Australia.
Adviceline Injury Lawyers applauds the prompt response to the chaperone report by the MBA and AHPRA, and looks ahead to the future implementations that will further strengthen public protection.
For the full report on progress made, click here.