IN THE MATTER OF THE COLLEGE OF REGISTERED NURSES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (the "CRNBC")
On November 16, 2009, the Discipline Committee Panel (the "Panel”) in this matter commenced the Hearing of the amended Citation against the Registrant and allowed an application by the Registrant under section 38(4.2) of the Health Professions Act (the "Act") for an adjournment of the hearing commencement date, previously scheduled by way of amended Citation for November 16, 2009, to a later date to be determined by the Panel. The Panel also allowed the application of the Registrant to change the venue to Terrace, B.C.
At the time of the Registrant's adjournment application, the CRNBC made an oral application to the Panel for a suspension or limitation of the Registrant's registration due to the delay in the commencement of the hearing into this matter. The Panel informed the CRNBC it could make an application in writing for limits or conditions to be placed on the practice of the Registrant or for a suspension of the registration of the Registrant pending the further hearing and the decision of the Panel under section 39(2) of the Act.
The Panel, has reviewed the November 23, 2009 application by the CRNBC under section 38 (8), along with the accompanying documents and statements, a reply letter from Ms. Juliet Walsh dated December 1, 2009 and a rebuttal submission from the CRNBC dated December 7, 2009 to Ms. Walsh's letter.
The CRNBC alleges by way of documentation, that Ms Walsh has made a significant number of errors in medication and patient care putting patients at risk; culminating in a serious risk to one particular patient. The CRNBC argued that the seriousness of the incident and the risk to patient care, coupled with a lack of insight by Ms. Walsh, meant that Ms. Walsh created an unacceptable risk for patient safety.
In her response, the Registrant does not acknowledge the severity of the allegations brought against her and neither admits nor denies the allegations outlined by the CRNBC in its application to the Panel. The Registrant's rationale for not addressing the CRNBC's allegations is that, "It is not my intent to present defensive evidence which would be more appropriate to be aired in the context of the hearing setting."
The Panel has concluded on a prima facie basis that there is significant risk to the public based on the evidence provided by CRNBC and not refuted by the Registrant in her reply to the interim application.
This conclusion is based on the following evidence (uncontested at this time) from the CRNBC:
In light of the serious nature of these allegations and the evidence supporting these allegations, the Registrant's silence with respect to the allegations and the evidence provided thus far, and the Registrant's statement in her reply submission that she is holding herself out as a nurse and currently performing nursing activities, the Panel has unanimously decided that the suspension of the Registrant's registration pursuant to s. 35 and s. 38(8) of the Act is necessary to protect the public pending the hearing of the Amended Citation and the decision of the Panel under section 39(2) of the Act in respect thereof. The Panel therefore orders an interim suspension of the registrant Juliet Walsh's licence (Registration No. 745491) until the completion of the full hearing on the merits of this matter. The Panel further orders that the public be notified of the Registrant's suspension through publication of a notice in the Vancouver Sun and the Terrace Standard. The Panel further orders that all known employers of the Registrant be informed in writing of Ms. Walsh's suspension. The Registrant is hereby ordered to provide the CRNBC with names, addresses and the name of a senior manager at all organizations where she holds herself out as a nurse and or conducts nursing duties. Under Section 35 (5) of the Act, the Registrant Juliet Walsh may appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, pursuant to section 40 of the Act.