26 Sep 2022
A paramedic has had his registration cancelled and been banned from providing health services for two years after he inappropriately pursued a relationship with a vulnerable patient and lied to investigators about it.
On 1 July 2022 the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (tribunal) cancelled Robert Wayne Bevan’s paramedicine registration, issued him with a formal reprimand, disqualified him from applying for registration and prohibited him from providing any health services for two years.
In August 2019, Mr Bevan was assigned to transport a female patient for treatment. He was advised the patient was vulnerable. At the end of the trip, Mr Bevan requested the patient’s mobile number and later texted her, leading to an intimate and sexual relationship that lasted for several weeks.
Following an investigation, the Paramedicine Board of Australia referred Mr Bevan to the tribunal alleging professional misconduct.
The tribunal found Mr Bevan took advantage of his position as a paramedic to pursue and foster an inappropriate sexual relationship with the female patient, despite knowing the patient was vulnerable, which amounted to serious professional misconduct.
It found Mr Bevan showed little insight into his misconduct and sought to minimise his wrongdoing by giving false information to Ahpra and persisting in his account over a significant period, including by stating that the patient had initiated the relationship and that it only began after he resigned from his job.
The tribunal said lack of candour with the professional regulator was a serious matter and that the false statements to Ahpra, in themselves, also amounted to professional misconduct.
The tribunal considered it was appropriate to cancel Mr Bevan’s registration as a paramedic.
While Mr Bevan’s registration as a paramedic had been suspended since 2019, the tribunal said a further two-year period of disqualification from applying for registration was warranted, along with a prohibition order preventing him from providing any health service for the same period.
The tribunal also found Mr Bevan should be prohibited from providing any health service, including volunteer work, for the same period.
The full decision can be accessed on Austlii.