The correct process after a patient complaint

Question: I work in a public hospital as an enrolled nurse. Recently my supervisor spoke me to about a complaint received from a patient’s relative. Not thinking much of it, I participated in the discussion and thought that was the end of it. However, I have just received a formal warning about the complaint. Is this right?

Answer: In short, no. Under the relevant NSW Health policy directive, (PD2014_042 – Managing Misconduct), a well-established process is set out. This requires, amongst other things: written advice to the staff member about the allegations; reasonable notice of any interview; an opportunity to respond to any adverse findings, with access to relevant information that underpins the decision; and if a decision is subsequently made to apply a disciplinary outcome, an opportunity to respond and make representations to the decision maker.

As your supervisor does not seem to have followed required process, you would have grounds to complain and take issue with the outcome.