NEWS HR

Two people have been injured after a car hit a house on Hennessy Place in a retirement village in the Christchurch suburb of Spreydon a short time ago. Emergency services were called to the scene just before 6.30pm, Fire and Emergency NZ South Island communications shift manager Lyn Crosson said.

A Kiwi doctor who sexually assaulted multiple patients in Australia said he’d never faced a complaint before his arrest. But Dr Sharif Fattah, 63, had been the subject of three complaints in New Zealand before he moved to Australia and offended against his patients between September 2016 and March 2017. He was found guilty by a Sydney Court in May this year on counts of sexual intercourse without consent and indecent assault involving 10 female patients. Following his arrest in Australia questions were asked about previous charges he had faced. The Judge’s sentencing notes reveal Dr Fattah told the court-appointed psychologist that he had ‘’never been the subject of a complaint’’. But following an investigation, it was revealed Dr Fattah had faced three complaints in New Zealand: one which led to him being reminded of his workplace chaperoning policy when examining female patients, one which was investigated but not upheld, and a third that was upheld. Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill said he was ‘’extremely concerned’’ about the behaviour of Dr Fattah. His office found he’d breached a patient’s rights during an intimate examination. The HDC found that it was more likely than not that Dr Fattah touched the patient’s genitals and inserted his finger or fingers inside her during an abdominal examination. Dr Fattah denied there had been any internal examination. The HDC laid a charge of professional misconduct which was then investigated by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, but it was not upheld due to insufficient evidence. The Tribunal noted it was ‘’not a case necessarily of saying that the doctor’s version was preferred over that of the patient’’. It recommended Dr Fattah take advice and courses to improve his communication with patients. Conditions were placed on Dr Fattah while the investigation was carried out, but these were lifted in December 2014. He gained registration to work in Australia a year later. The NZ Medical Council said Dr Fattah would have had to make certain disclosures about his disciplinary history when applying to work in Australia, but it is unclear whether he did.

An elderly man who allegedly killed his 79-year-old flatmate appeared in court on Monday (Sept 2) via videolink from the Central Police Division. Pak Kian Huat, alias Pek Kiah Huat, 82, was charged with murdering Madam Lim Soi Moy in a Housing Board flat on the 21st storey of Block 191 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh. Police had received a call about the case at around 3.40am on Sunday and officers found Madam Lim motionless in the unit. She was later pronounced dead by paramedics.

A doctor who sexually assaulted multiple patients at a Sydney healthcare centre was investigated over an intimate examination of a female patient in New Zealand, it can now be revealed. Dr Sharif Fattah spent 20 years practising in New Zealand, working in public hospitals and health centres as a GP, before moving to Australia in 2015. He was arrested in 2017 after three patients from a practice in the Sydney suburb of Camden went to police. More women came forward following his arrest, and by the time Dr Fattah went on trial he faced 30 charges of sexual assault and indecent assault involving 16 women. A Sydney court was told Dr Fattah, 63, had performed medically unnecessary examinations on the women, aged 19-40, for his own sexual gratification. Dr Fattah denied all charges, calling the allegations untrue and “absolutely wrong”. He was found guilty in May this year of 18 charges involving 10 female patients and has been sentenced to 16 years and 6 months imprisonment. His lawyer has indicated Dr Fattah will appeal. It can now be revealed that Dr Fattah moved to Australia and offended against his patients after being investigated by the Health and Disability Commissioner in New Zealand, and subsequently faced a charge of professional misconduct by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Elderly patients at an Auckland rest home were evacuated overnight after a fire broke out on its second floor. Emergency services were called to Everil Orr Retirement Village in Mount Albert, and 20 residents were moved outside. No one was taken to hospital and the cause of the fire is unknown.

A nurse has been cleared of allegations she gave children “heavy-hitting sedatives” they weren’t prescribed. Ms H, who has interim name suppression, appeared before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal facing a professional misconduct charge. Ms H was accused of administering sedatives she was not allowed to give without supervision, or which were not prescribed, to two patients while working as an intern clinical nurse specialist in an Auckland hospital emergency department in 2017. On Friday, the tribunal found although some of her actions amounted to misconduct, the main allegations were not proven and she will face no punishment. In relation to both patients, the tribunal agreed Ms H failed to document the name of the senior medical officer (SMO) who gave the verbal order to give the drugs, and failed to write the acronym ‘pp’, plus the prescriber’s name. She also failed to record that Patient A had received intravenous propofol and fentanyl on their medical notes. “We’ve found non-professional misconduct but we’ve determined the conduct is not serious enough to warrant a sanction or penalty against you,” Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal chairwoman Alison Douglass said.

A nurse has denied claims she administered “heavy-hitting” sedatives to children without them being prescribed. Ms H, who has interim name suppression, appeared before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal facing a professional misconduct charge. On Tuesday, the panel heard Ms H reportedly administered sedatives she was either not allowed to give without supervision, or which were not prescribed, to two patients while working as an intern clinical nurse specialist at an Auckland hospital emergency department in 2017. While Ms H accepted she failed to document the names of doctors who gave verbal prescribing orders for the medicines, or those who supervised, she denied administering them without prescriptions or supervision. The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) alleged Ms H gave a patient propofol, fentanyl and ketamine when they were not prescribed or documented in his chart. Propofol has strict guidelines for use, and Ms H was not qualified to give it without supervision. She also allegedly gave ketamine and propofol to a second child with a fracture, when neither drugs were prescribed or documented. On Wednesday, Ms H denied the PCC’s submission that she compromised patient safety. Giving procedural sedation was a “very large part” of her role in the emergency department, she told the tribunal. As an intern, Ms H managed her own patients under the supervision of a senior medical officer (SMO). She would discuss each patient with a supervising doctor, who would then decide whether they wanted to see the child directly. If they were happy with her assessment and plan, the SMO would give Ms H verbal orders to continue with the discussed treatment, she told the tribunal. She said this was done with both patients in this case, who were given medicines under verbal orders. No concerns were raised at the time about the medicines used in either case, she told the tribunal. Ms H said she had administered propofol or fentanyl many times during resuscitation situations directed by an SMO, as was “usual practice” for any ED or ICU nurse. Ms H told the tribunal her orientation to the DHB and the CNS intern role was “poor”, and maintains she was never told clinical nurse specialists could not give propofol. Ms H said she “mistakenly” believed she was able to administer propofol and fentanyl having attended procedural sedation courses, but always did so with supervision. “If I was told to never give propofol, I would have never given propofol,” she said. On reflection, Ms H said she was “really concerned” she could have made this “mistake”. Asked by her lawyer what she would do if a doctor told her to administer the medicines today under verbal order, Ms H said: “Absolutely not, I wouldn’t go there.” A five-person panel, led by barrister Alison Douglass, will decide on Thursday whether the allegation against her are established.

A nurse who allegedly gave children propofol, fentanyl and ketamine when she wasn’t allowed to and without prescriptions faces disciplinary action. Ms H, who has interim name suppression, appeared before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal facing a professional misconduct charge. On Tuesday, the panel heard Ms H administered sedatives she was either not allowed to give without supervision, or which were not prescribed, to two patients while working as an intern clinical nurse specialist at an Auckland hospital emergency department in 2017. The issue reportedly came to light after staff heard Ms H talking about giving propofol to a patient at a “social event”. The panel heard that while undergoing training, Ms H gave propofol, fentanyl and ketamine to Patient A, who had a fractured ankle. None of the drugs were prescribed or documented in the patient’s medication chart. Propofol – which caused the death of Michael Jackson – is an anaesthetic. It is rarely used on its own because it can cause difficulty breathing. There are strict guidelines for its use and it is always administered in a resuscitation room with a “dedicated airway doctor” present, and under the guidance of an ED senior medical officer (SMO), the tribunal heard. However, it’s alleged Ms H did not do this. An emergency medicine specialist told the tribunal she would not expect propofol to be given without a very senior doctor or consultant present, and she would not allow a junior doctor to administer it to a patient on their own. Another witness, a clinical nurse specialist, said she had never given a child propofol in her eight years working in the emergency department. Lawyer for the Professional Conduct Committee, Matthew McClelland, said the nurses actions compromised patient safety. The panel heard Ms H also gave Patient A fentanyl and ketamine without a prescription, or failed to properly document if she received a verbal order to give the drug. Ms H understood she was able to administer propofol to patients because she attended a procedural sedation workshop, but this was not the case, the tribunal heard. McClelland said Ms H also falsely represented herself by signing Patient A’s clinical assessment form as a clinical nurse specialist when she was an intern. She also failed to complete “full and accurate” clinical notes, compromising Patient A’s safety, McClelland said. Ms H also gave ketamine and propofol to Patient B, who fractured her leg. Neither drugs were prescribed or documented. The propofol was either given without the supervision of a senior doctor, or Ms H failed to document the name of the doctor present, the tribunal heard. Ms H was qualified to give patients ketamine, but not without a prescription. A panel of five, led by barrister Alison Douglass, must decide whether the charge against the nurse has been established and, if so, what penalty should be imposed.