Invaluable support over a complaint

The NSWNMA has given me invaluable support over the years, but never more so than when a complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) was lodged against me some years ago when I was working as a midwife in a busy Birthing unit of a regional hospital.

Several months after I had assessed the patient in question, I was called up to the DON’s office, who informed me of a serious accusation against me. The DON commented that “my documentation had better be good” – this was the only support I got from the facility I was working for.

At this time I had a young family of four children, I was the main breadwinner and had a large mortgage to pay off. So when I got back to the ward I burst into tears, as all I could envisage was being out of a job. A colleague comforted me and suggested I should contact the union – which I did. The officer I was assigned to took over and told me what to do. I gathered the information she needed and she represented me at the HCCC.

After many months, with the union representing my case, I received correspondence from the HCCC. In fear and trepidation I opened the letter. My wife and I poured over it word for word, all six pages. It was only in the last paragraph that the HCCC stated that my care was exemplary, I was exonerated and no further action was to take place.

What a relief – thank God I was a union member, because without their help I would not have known what to do and if I had employed a solicitor to represent me I probably would have had to re-mortgage our house or sell.

I am forever grateful to the union and grateful for my membership.