Suspended nurse pleads guilty to 66 charges

Tuesday, 15 October, 2019

Suspended nurse pleads guilty to 66 charges

A South Australian nurse has been professionally disqualified for practising while on a 25-year suspension. Helena Heaft falsely presented as a registered nurse while suspended, working in several aged-care facilities in Adelaide between 23 February and 19 June 2018.

Heaft pleaded guilty to all 66 charges brought by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.

Heaft’s registration was suspended by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) on 29 January 2018 after it determined that a suspension was appropriate to protect the health or safety of the public. On 18 June 2019 the South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal disqualified Heaft from applying for registration as a nurse for 25 years.

NMBA Chair Associate Professor Lynette Cusack said, “Nurses are among the most trusted professions in our community. There are standards that you must meet to call yourself a registered nurse. By falsely claiming to be registered when she was not, Ms Heaft abused the trust of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“The NMBA will always take action to keep the public safe and to protect the trust the community has in the profession,” Associate Professor Cusack said.

The maximum penalty available to the court in this case is $30,000 per offence. The court adjourned the sentencing of Heaft to 23 December 2019.

AHPRA maintains a register of practitioners, naming individuals registered with a national health profession board.

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