Law for Nurses QLD

One Day Seminar

Date: 31 August 2017
Time: 8.45am – 4.15pm
Venue: Royal on the Park Hotel, Cnr Alice and Albert Streets, Brisbane
CPD points:  nurses attending can receive CPD points
Cost: Early Bird: $595 (expires 18.7.17). Standard Price: $695. Prices include gst.

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8.15    Morning Coffee and Registration

9.00    Welcome from LawSense

9.05     Opening Remarks from the Morning Chairperson

Shelley Nowlan, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (OCNMO), Queensland 

9.00     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

David Quinn, Partner, CRH Law; Accredited Specialist Workplace Relations; Doyles List, Leading Employment and IR Lawyer 2015

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

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

Peta Willoughby, Principal Lawyer, Workplace Law, Crown Law, Queensland

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

Evonne Smyth, Director, Roberts & Kane Solicitors

12.10   Closing Remarks from the Morning Chairperson

12.15   Lunch

AFTERNOON SESSION – 1.05pm to 4.15pm

1.05     Opening Remarks from the Afternoon Chairperson

Alanna Geary, Executive Director, Nursing and Midwifery, Metro North Hospital and Health Service

1.10     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 Donna Callaghan, Barrister-at-law, Queensland Bar

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

Trudy Naylor, Barrister-at-Law, Queensland Bar

Panel discussion: Learn with the panel as they work through complex scenarios and grey areas regarding complaints, workplace issues, mental health and non-nursing staff

  • Scenario:
    • 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 Panelist:

Stephanie Gallagher, Special Counsel, Corrs Chambers Westgarth; Adj Assoc Prof, School of Medicine, Griffith University


Maree Hill, Director, Complaints Intake and Assessment, Office of the Health Ombudsman of Queensland (OHO)

Tracey Stenzel, Director of Notifications, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

Peta Willoughby, Principal Lawyer, Workplace Law, Crown Law, Queensland

Trudy Naylor, Barrister-at-Law, Queensland Bar

4.10     Closing Remarks from the Chairperson

4.15     Close of the Conference

Presenters / panelists include:

David-Quinn-webDavid Quinn has been in private practice in Brisbane since 2004, following a decade as a senior C’th public servant advising on industrial relations law. David provides advice and representation across all areas of employment and industrial law, and is one of Qld’s handful of Accredited Specialists in Workplace Relations Law.


Geary-webAlanna Geary is the Executive Director Nursing & Midwifery Services MNHHS. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at QUT and Griffith University. Alanna has been the Executive Director of Nursing and MNHHS and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for the past 2 years but has worked at the RBWH for the past 31 years.


Donna_Callaghan_webDonna Callaghan was called to the Bar in 2009.Her interest and expertise lies in personal injuries and health law – an area in which she has been engaged for 20 years. Donna obtained her medical degree from University of Queensland and practiced clinical medicine for over ten years. Obtaining Diplomas in both Obstetrics and Anaesthetics and her Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists in London

Maree-Hill-webMaree Hill first worked as a registered nurse at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and was a Nurse Educator for many years. Maree held positions of Investigator, Professional Standards Coordinator and Director of the Nursing Program at the former Queensland Nursing Council. She also was Manager, Assessment and Investigations, AHPRA and Director of Notifications, AHPRA before joining the OHO Director, Complaints Intake and Assessment.

Tracey-Stenzel-webTracey Stenzel is the Director Notifications for the AHPRA (Qld office). She is responsible for ensuring the protection of the public by providing support to the National Boards in the management, assessment and investigation of complaints relating to the conduct, health and performance of registered health practitioners.


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