Treating a patient or client who is a health practitioner?

Treating a patient or client who is a health practitioner? It’s very unlikely that you will need to make a mandatory notification about them. You don’t need to notify us about a practitioner-patient unless there is a substantial risk of harm to the public or sexual misconduct.

In most cases, balancing the health needs of your practitioner-patient with public safety doesn’t mean making a mandatory notification. Like with any other patient, your practitioner-patient’s health is the priority. A practitioner who is managing a physical or mental health issue by seeking help, or who takes time off to get well, is highly unlikely to pose a substantial risk of harm.

You need to understand your obligations and only make a mandatory notification to us if it is necessary to do so. If you think there is a substantial risk of harm to the public or sexual misconduct, then you may need to make a mandatory notification.

Unsure of whether to make a mandatory notification?

Experienced practitioners have told us that when treating a practitioner-patient, it can be useful to consult with a trusted practitioner colleague if you are unsure whether a mandatory notification is required. They may be able to provide support and reassurance as a treating practitioner. You can also contact your indemnity insurers and/or professional association for helpful advice.

In early 2020, the requirements to make a mandatory notification are changing. The changes aim to support health practitioners to be able to seek professional advice about their health without fearing a mandatory notification. To help practitioners understand the changes, we are revising our mandatory notifications guidelines and released them for public consultation.

Watch this space – we will be publishing case studies for treating practitioners to help you understand when to make a notification and when not to, before these changes take effect.

 
 
Page reviewed 3/12/2019