Law for Nurses NSW

One Day Seminar

Date: 10 August 2017
Time: 8.45am – 4.30pm
Venue: The Grace Hotel, 77 York Street, Sydney
CPD points:  nurses attending can receive CPD points
Cost: Early Bird: $595 (expires 30.06.17). Standard: $695. Prices include gst.

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8.15    Morning Coffee and Registration

8.45    Welcome from LawSense

8.50     Opening Remarks from the Morning Chairperson

Kim Olesen, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District; Adjunct Professor, UTS

9.00     Exploring the Grey Areas of Patient Consent and What is Legally Required

  • Examining the key elements of valid consent
  • Exploring the grey areas of capacity to consent: medicated patients, mental illness, stress, influence by others
  • Substitute decision makers – what are the limits of what they can consent to?
  • Understanding when written versus oral or other forms of consent is required
  • Examining when the signing of standardised consent forms is or is not valid consent
  • Exploring your rights and obligations where consent was obtained by others who are not involved in the procedure
  • Learning from case studies and scenarios

Dr Tim Smyth, Principal, Health Sector Law

Coronial Investigations: Reviewing Key Learnings for Nurses from Recent Cases and Dealing with Investigations

  • Understanding the role and approach of the Coroner in investigating deaths involving health care providers
  • Reviewing previous Coronial matters involving nurses – what are the key learnings for nurses?
  • Dealing with police and other parties – what are your rights and obligations
  • Responding to requests for statements or other evidence
  • Preparing to give evidence to a Coronial Inquiry, knowing your rights and what to expect

Brit Mainhoff, Partner, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Dealing Effectively With Bullying Claims Made Against You During Performance Management of Staff

  • Reviewing the rights and obligations of the parties where a staff member makes a bullying and harassment claim against a manager
  • Understanding how these claims affect performance management or investigations
  • Exploring strategies during performance management to help avoid potential claims
  • Effectively managing external investigators
  • Implementing best practice in documenting meetings, communication and decisions to defend claims against you
  • Reviewing case studies and lessons learnt

Jessica Fisher, Partner, FCB Group Workplace Law Specialists

12.10   Closing Remarks from the Morning Chairperson

12.15     Lunch

1.00     Opening Remarks from the Afternoon Chairperson

Alexandra Joyner, Director of Nursing, Mater Hospital Sydney

1.05     Mentally Ill Staff: Examining the Limits of the Obligation to Make “Reasonable Adjustments”

  • Reviewing the obligations to make “reasonable adjustments” in relation to mentally ill or injured staff
  • Understanding the potential role of WorkCover and workers compensation
  • Examining the rights and obligations in dealing with medical evidence provided by the staff member regarding reasonable adjustments
  • In what circumstances to seek an independent medical assessment?
  • Exploring case studies and scenarios about what is reasonable and what is not

Mark Paul, Executive Lawyer, Bartier Perry

Exploring Best Practice Note Taking, Including Electronic Records Management, to Comply with Legal Obligations and Minimise Litigation Risks

  • Reviewing legal and professional obligations regarding record keeping
  • Examining how the law applies to electronic records:
    • identifying potential pitfalls applying to electronic v paper based records, including confidentiality and privacy issues
    • is potential legal exposure altered by:  exception reporting, electronic pathways, electronic alerts, or the ability to copy and paste?
    • how do Courts and tribunals respond to and manage electronic evidence in investigations and proceedings
  • Writing what you observe and not what you think is happening
  • Best practice with respect to documenting:  consent, opinions, incidents, concerns
  • Examples – what is poor record keeping and what is not

Rob Beetson, Group General Manager Corporate Governance, St Vincent’s Health Australia

Panel Discussion: Learn with the panel as they work through a complex scenario and ‘grey areas’ regarding complaints, workplace issues, mental health and non-nursing staff:


  • a complaint against nurses and online negative comments, leading to an internal investigation, consideration by the AHPRA, NMC, and HCCC
  • workplace issues, including performance management, bullying and mental health
  • dealing with non-nursing staff, including doctors, allied professionals and care workers

Facilitator and Contributor:

Lucinda Smith, Partner, Thomson Geer Lawyers


Rob Beetson, Group General Manager Corporate Governance, St Vincent’s Health Australia

Mark Paul, Executive Lawyer, Bartier Perry Lawyers

Tony Kofkin, Director of Investigations, Health Care Complaints Commission, NSW (HCCC)

Kim Bryant, Deputy Executive Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW (NMC)

4.25     Closing Remarks from the Chairperson

4.30     Close of the Conference

Presenters / panelists include:

Kim Olsen-webAfter starting her nursing career in orthopaedics at St Vincent’s Hospital, Kim Olesen has undertaken a variety of roles in the health setting and is currently the Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services in South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. Kim is also Adjunct Professor and the University of Technology, Sydney.

Jessica-Fisher-webJessica Fisher is a highly experienced employment and industrial relations lawyer who has special expertise in working with clients operating in the aged-care sector, as well as professional services, education, professional services and the pharmaceutical industry. 

Mark-Paul-WebMark Paul has been providing legal advice to various NSW Health entities since 1984.  He has expertise in health related employment law and regularly advises on issues such as internal investigations, probity requirements, local industrial and employment issues, injured workers and visiting practitioners.

Lucinda-Smith-webLucinda Smith has particular expertise in the health and aged care sectors. She regularly advises health industry clients in mergers and acquisitions and health projects. Lucinda was named ‘Lawyer of the Year’ by Best Lawyers in Australia (2013) in her specialty practice area of Retirement Villages and Senior Living Law (Sydney) and was nominated as a leading lawyer in Health & Aged Care Law.

Placeholder-onlineTony Kofkin has been the Director of Investigations at the HCC since April 2011. During this period Tony has obtained extensive knowledge and experience the complex health regulatory system in NSW. Tony formerly held the position of Detective Chief Inspector at Kent Police, UK, where he was the Head of Special Branch.

Kim-Bryant-webKim Bryant is the Deputy Executive Officer of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She first registered as a nurse in 1984. She has post-graduate qualifications in training and adult education. Ms Bryant has held a range of nursing positions, including clinical nurse, CNS, nurse educator, course co-ordinator and nurse manager.


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