NSW Industrial Relations Commission reinstates paramedic

Further to our report on the Full Bench decision of Redmond v Director General, NSW Department of Health, this long running matter now appears to have been finalised with the April decision of Deputy President Harrison to reinstate paramedic Peter Redmond – [2013] NSWIRComm 36.

Of interest to investigators were His Honour’s approach to whether the matter, as remitted to him by the Full Bench for determination, needed to be subject to a full rehearing (as advocated by Counsel for the Ministry, or for a review of the evidence available to the Full Bench. Harrison decided a “middle course” was best on the authority of Lee v Energy Australia [2011 NSWIRComm 120 and allowed the recall of Redmond for cross examination.

On the issue of evidence used to support the investigator’s decision to recommend termination of Redmond’s service for misconduct associated with the alleged improper administration of fentanyl, Harrison found the evidence of two witnesses relied upon by the Service, the patient and his wife, suffered from “distraction and uncertainty” and could not be relied. This was particularly so when dealing with serious misconduct which needed to be considered in the light of the standard of proof required by Briginshaw.

Of the only other witness, Redmond’s paramedic colleague Officer Horgan, His Honour concluded her evidence was imprecise and at times highly improbable given the circumstances of the incident. Accordingly, he determined Redmond was to be reinstated.

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