Tribunal reprimands psychiatrist for relationship with patient

17 Oct 2019

The Victorian tribunal has found a psychiatrist guilty of professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct, banning him from applying for registration until 31 December 2019.

On 22 May 2019, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) found Dr Luke Ainsworth, a specialist psychiatrist, had failed in his management of a female patient between April 2016 and August 2016.

In summary, the psychiatrist:

  • failed to maintain professional boundaries with a patient/former patient, including by engaging in a social and intimate relationship with her
  • prescribed medication to the patient when they engaged in a social and/or close personal relationship, without making adequate clinical records
  • failed to notify the Board within seven days of being charged with four offences under the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) and provided a false declaration to the Board when he renewed his registration on 28 August 2016, by not disclosing the criminal charges, and
  • practised as a medical practitioner while he was aware, or ought reasonably to have suspected, that he had a health condition or impairment that could adversely affect his judgement, performance or his patients' health.

The tribunal reprimanded Dr Ainsworth. Dr Ainsworth has not practised since December 2016 and the tribunal disqualified him from applying for registration until 31 December 2019. The tribunal considered a period of three years not practising as a medical practitioner was appropriate on top of the disqualification. It also noted his cooperation throughout the investigation and the steps he has taken to address the factors that influenced his conduct.

The orders are published on the tribunal website.

 
 
Page reviewed 17/10/2019