Ambulance Service Act 1991


Queensland Crest
Ambulance Service Act 1991
Queensland Ambulance Service Act 1991 Current as at 20 May 2013
Information about this reprint This reprint shows the legislation current as at the date on the cover and is authorised by the Parliamentary Counsel. A new reprint of the legislation will be prepared by the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel when any change to the legislation takes effect. This change may be because a provision of the original legislation, or an amendment to it, commences or because a particular provision of the legislation expires or is repealed. When a new reprint is prepared, this reprint will become a historical reprint. Also, if it is necessary to replace this reprint before a new reprint is prepared, for example, to include amendments with a retrospective commencement, an appropriate note would be included on the cover of the replacement reprint and on the copy of this reprint at www.legislation.qld.gov.au. The endnotes to this reprint contain detailed information about the legislation and reprint. For example— The table of reprints endnote lists any previous reprints and, for this reprint, gives details of any discretionary editorial powers under the Reprints Act 1992 used by the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel in preparing it. The list of legislation endnote gives historical information about the original legislation and the legislation which amended it. It also gives details of uncommenced amendments to this legislation. For information about possible amendments to the legislation by Bills introduced in Parliament, see the Queensland Legislation Current Annotations at www.legislation.qld.gov.au/information. The list of annotations endnote gives historical information at section level. All Queensland reprints are dated and authorised by the Parliamentary Counsel. The previous numbering system and distinctions between printed and electronic reprints are not continued.
Queensland Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents Part 1 1 2 Part 2 Division 1 3A 3B 3D 3E Division 2 4 4A 5 6 9 Division 3 13 13A 14 15 16 17 18 Division 4 Subdivision 1 18A Page Preliminary Short title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Definitions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Queensland Ambulance Service Queensland Ambulance Service Establishment of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Membership of service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Service’s functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Chief executive’s responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The commissioner Appointment of commissioner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Acting commissioner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Disqualification from appointment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Vacation of office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Role of commissioner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Staff of the service generally Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Requirement to disclose previous history of serious disciplinary action ....................................... 14 Honorary ambulance officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Officers employed under this Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 No additional remuneration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Superannuation scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Retrenchment and redundancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Disciplinary action for service officers and former service officers Grounds and disciplinary action generally Grounds for discipline. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents 18B Subdivision 2 18C 18D 18E 18F 18G Subdivision 3 18H 18I Subdivision 4 18J 18K 18L Subdivision 5 18M 18N 18O 18P Division 5 19 22 23 Part 4 Division 1 26 27 Division 2 28 29 29A 30 Page 2 Disciplinary action that may be taken against a service officer generally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disciplinary action against a service officer who was a public service employee or fire service officer Application of sdiv 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Definitions for sdiv 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Action previous chief executive may take . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Action employing chief executive may take . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Declaration if same chief executive is the previous chief executive and employing chief executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disciplinary action against a former service officer Application of sdiv 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Action chief executive may take . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Provisions about information about disciplinary action Information about disciplinary action to be given by chief executive ....................................... Information about disciplinary action to be given to chief executive ...................................... Use of particular information about disciplinary action obtained by chief executive in another capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other provisions about disciplinary action etc. Suspension of service officer liable to discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . Procedure for disciplinary action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Effect of suspension from duty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Additional procedures for suspension or termination . . . . . . . . . . Other matters about the service Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Delegations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Requirement to report pool immersion incident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Local ambulance committees Establishment and functions of committees Establishment of committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Functions of committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conduct of business and membership of committees Conduct of business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Members of committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dealing with vacancy in office of a member . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Liability of members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 19 20 21 22 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 28 29 30 30 31 32 33 33 34 34 35 36
31 Division 3 31A 31B 32 33 34 35 36 Part 4A Division 1 36A 36B 36C 36D Division 2 36E 36F Division 3 36G 36H Division 4 36I 36J 36K Division 5 36L 36M 36N 36NA 36O 36P Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents Protection of members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other matters about committees Minister may approve or amend constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Commissioner to give constitution to committees . . . . . . . . . . . . Committees are statutory bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Application of laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Investigations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dissolution of committees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Effect of dissolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Root cause analyses Preliminary Definitions for pt 4A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meaning of root cause analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Purpose of pt 4A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Guiding principles for conduct of RCA of reportable event. . . . . . RCA teams Appointment of RCA team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Requirements for appointment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reporting RCA team’s report and chain of events document . . . . . . . . . . . . Reporting to commissioning authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stopping conduct of RCA of reportable event Definition for div 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stopping conduct of RCA of reportable event—RCA team . . . . . Stopping conduct of RCA of reportable event—commissioning authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure or release of information Definitions for div 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure of information—RCA team member or relevant person ....................................... Disclosure of information—commissioning authority or relevant person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Information about excluded notifiable conduct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Release of information to Health Quality and Complaints Commission ................................... Giving of copy of RCA report or chain of events document—medical director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 36 37 37 38 38 38 38 39 40 41 41 42 42 43 44 44 44 45 46 47 49 50 51 51 Page 3
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents 36Q 36R 36S 36T 36U Division 6 36V 36W 36X 36Y 36Z Division 7 36ZA 36ZB 36ZC Part 5 37 38 39 40 41 Part 5A Division 1 41A 41B 41C 41D 41E 41F 41G Division 2 41H 41I Giving of copy of RCA report etc.—investigation under the Coroners Act 2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Giving of information to Minister or chief executive . . . . . . . . . . . Giving of copy of, or information contained in, RCA report—person who has sufficient personal or professional interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Information not to be given in evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Information provider can not be compelled to give particular information in evidence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Protections Protection from liability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Giving of information protected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reprisal and grounds for reprisals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Offence for taking reprisal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Damages entitlement for reprisal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miscellaneous Application of provisions of this part. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RCA report not admissible in evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Review of pt 4A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Administration and powers Authorised officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Powers of authorised officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Protection from certain liability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Power to accept gifts etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codes of practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Investigation officers Investigation officers Appointment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appointment conditions and limit on powers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . When investigation officer ceases to hold office. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Functions of investigation officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Issue of identity card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Production or display of identity card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Return of identity card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Powers of investigation officers Power to enter places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Entry with consent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4 52 54 55 55 56 57 57 58 59 59 59 59 60 60 61 62 62 62 63 63 64 64 64 65 65 65 66
41J 41K Division 3 41L Part 6 42 43 44 45 45A 45B 45C 46 47 48 49 49A 50 50A 50B 50C Part 7 Division 1 50D 50E 50F 50G 50H 50I 50J 50K 50L Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents General powers after entering places. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Power to require name and address. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Protection from liability Protection from liability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Offences Right of way to ambulances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Unauthorised ambulance transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Failure to help investigation officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Failure to answer questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Failure to give name or address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . False or misleading statements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . False or misleading documents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Obstruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . False calls for ambulance service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Restricted use of words ‘Ambulance Service’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Unauthorised disclosure of confidential information by a designated officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Unauthorised disclosure of confidential information by an informed person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Proceedings for offences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Proceedings for indictable offences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Limitation on who may summarily hear indictable offence . . . . . . Order for payment if guilty of false call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . General Confidentiality Definitions for div 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure required or permitted by law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure with consent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure to person who has sufficient interest in health and welfare of person . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure of confidential information for care or treatment of person ........................................ Disclosure is general condition of person. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure to police or corrective services officers. . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure for administering, monitoring or enforcing compliance with Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure to Commonwealth, another State or Commonwealth or State entity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 68 69 69 70 70 70 71 71 71 72 72 72 73 74 75 75 76 76 77 78 78 78 79 79 80 80 81 Page 5
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents 50M 50N 50O 50P 50Q 50R Division 2 51 52 53A 53B 53C 53D 54 Part 8 Division 1 54A 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 Division 2 68 Disclosure to Health Quality and Complaints Commission . . . . . Disclosure to Australian Red Cross Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disclosure to person performing function under Coroners Act 2003 ......................................... Disclosure is authorised by chief executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Necessary or incidental disclosure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Application of this division to former designated officers . . . . . . . Other matters Exemption from tolls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Interstate assistance at accidents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Function of Emergency Services Advisory Council . . . . . . . . . . . Exemption from payment for ambulance service . . . . . . . . . . . . . Agreement about payment for ambulance service . . . . . . . . . . . . Recovery of fees and charges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regulation-making power. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Savings and transitional provisions Provisions for Act before commencement of Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Act 1998 Definitions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Superannuation entitlements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References to the board and previous committees . . . . . . . . . . . References to Ambulance Services Act 1967 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References to corporation and former service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vesting of assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Legal proceedings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ambulance officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Medical officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Administrative and service officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conditions of employment of transferred officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . Honorary ambulance officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Duty to assist transfer of property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Provision for Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Act 1998 Board members go out of office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 82 82 82 83 84 84 84 85 86 87 87 87 88 89 89 90 90 90 90 90 90 91 91 91 92 92 92 Page 6
Division 3 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 Division 4 87 88 89 90 91 Division 5 92 93 94 95 Division 6 96 97 Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents Provisions for Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Act 2001 Definitions for div 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Former service dissolved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Superannuation entitlements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References to former service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vesting of assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Legal or disciplinary proceedings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Suspension. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Service officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conditions of employment of transferred officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . Honorary ambulance officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trusts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Duty to help transfer of property. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Things taken to have been done etc. by commissioner . . . . . . . . Things taken to have been done etc. by chief executive . . . . . . . Other things taken to have been done etc. by chief executive . . . Other things taken to have been done etc. by the State. . . . . . . . Closure of Ambulance Service Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Provisions for Emergency Services Legislation Amendment Act 2002 Definitions for div 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Former constitution ceases to apply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Committee members continue in office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Office holders continue to hold office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Minister must notify approval day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Provisions for Community Ambulance Cover Act 2003 Definitions for div 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Former subscriber’s entitlement ends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charge not payable for particular ambulance service . . . . . . . . . Continuation of written authority. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Provisions for Integrity Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act 2010 Definition for div 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disciplinary action for acts or omissions happening before commencement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 93 93 93 93 94 94 94 94 95 95 95 95 96 96 97 97 98 98 98 98 99 99 99 99 100 100 100 Page 7
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Contents 98 99 Schedule Disciplinary action against former public service employee or fire service officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disciplinary action against former service officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 101 102 Endnotes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Index to endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Date to which amendments incorporated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Table of reprints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List of legislation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List of annotations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Forms notified or published in the gazette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Table of renumbered provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 107 108 108 109 114 128 128 Page 8
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 1 Preliminary [s 1] [as amended by all amendments that commenced on or before 20 May 2013] An Act to establish the Queensland Ambulance Service and for other purposes Part 1 Preliminary 1 Short title This Act may be cited as the Ambulance Service Act 1991 . 2 Definitions The dictionary in the schedule defines particular words used in this Act. Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service Division 1 Queensland Ambulance Service 3A Establishment of service The Queensland Ambulance Service is established. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 9
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 3B] 3B Membership of service The service consists of— (a) the commissioner; and (b) ambulance officers, medical officers and other staff members employed under section 13. 3D Service’s functions The functions of the service are— (a) to provide, operate and maintain ambulance services; and (b) for ambulance services provided during rescue and other related activities—to protect persons from injury or death, whether or not the persons are sick or injured; and (c) to provide transport for persons requiring attention at medical or health care facilities; and (d) to participate with other emergency services in counter-disaster planning; and (e) to coordinate all volunteer first aid groups for major emergencies or disasters; and (f) to adopt and put into effect all necessary measures (including systems of planning, management and quality control) to best ensure the efficient and economic operation and use of its resources in providing ambulance services; and (g) to provide casualty room services; and (h) to refer a person to another health service; and (i) to provide community and workplace education in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other related matters, to the extent that the service’s personnel and equipment can reasonably be deployed or used for the purpose; and (j) to identify and market products and services incidental to its other functions; and Page 10 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 3E] (k) to perform other functions given to the service under this Act or another Act; and (l) to perform functions incidental to its other functions. 3E Chief executive’s responsibility (1) The chief executive is responsible for the way the service performs its functions. (2) Without limiting subsection (1), the chief executive is responsible for— (a) defining the objectives, strategies and policies to be followed by the service; and (b) ensuring the service performs its functions in an appropriate, effective and efficient way. Example The chief executive could establish performance measures for the service. (3) This section does not affect the chief executive’s responsibilities for the department under another Act. Division 2 The commissioner 4 Appointment of commissioner (1) The Governor in Council, acting on the recommendation of the Minister, is to appoint a commissioner of the service. (2) The commissioner is to be paid such salary and allowances and employed on such terms and conditions as the Governor in Council determines. 4A Acting commissioner (1) The Minister may appoint a person to act in the office of commissioner during— (a) any vacancy, or all vacancies, in the office; or Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 11
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 5] (b) any period, or all periods, when the commissioner is absent from duty, or can not, for another reason, perform the functions of the office. (2) The Minister’s power to appoint a person to act in the office of commissioner does not limit the Governor in Council’s powers under the Acts Interpretation Act 1954 , section 25(1)(b)(iv) and (v). 5 Disqualification from appointment A person who— (a) is an undischarged bankrupt or takes advantage of the laws in force for the time being relating to bankruptcy; or (b) is or attains the age of 65 years; or (c) has been or is convicted in Queensland of an indictable offence or has been or is convicted elsewhere in respect of an act or omission that if done or made by that person in Queensland would have constituted an indictable offence; is not capable of being or continuing to be the commissioner. 6 Vacation of office (1) The office of the commissioner becomes vacant if the commissioner— (a) dies; or (b) becomes incapable of continuing as the commissioner; or (c) furnishes his or her written resignation to the Minister; or (d) under section 5, ceases to be capable of continuing to be the commissioner; or (e) is removed from office; or Page 12 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 9] (f) without the approval of the Minister, engages in any employment outside the duties of the commissioner under this Act; or (g) is absent from duty for a period of 14 days without lawful excuse. (2) A resignation given under subsection (1)(c) is not effective until written acceptance of it is given by the Minister. 9 Role of commissioner The commissioner must, in accordance with the objectives, strategies and policies defined by the chief executive— (a) manage the service’s operations; and (b) perform the commissioner’s functions and exercise the commissioner’s powers under this Act. Division 3 Staff of the service generally 13 Employees (1) The chief executive may appoint and employ on salary or wages or engage and employ under contracts such persons— (a) as ambulance officers; and (b) as medical officers; and (c) as other staff members; as are necessary for the effectual administration of this Act. (2) Subject to any applicable decision within the meaning of the Industrial Relations Act 1999 , persons employed under subsection (1) (other than on contract) are to be paid salaries, wages and allowances at such rates and are to be employed under such conditions of employment (including conditions as to occupational superannuation and leave entitlements) as the chief executive determines. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 13
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 13A] 13A Requirement to disclose previous history of serious disciplinary action (1) If the chief executive proposes to appoint a person under section 13, the chief executive may require the person to disclose to the chief executive particulars of any serious disciplinary action taken against the person. (2) The person must comply with the requirement before the appointment takes effect and within the time and in the way stated by the chief executive. (3) The chief executive may have regard to information disclosed by the person under this section in deciding whether to appoint the person under section 13. (4) The chief executive is not required to further consider the person for appointment under section 13 if the person— (a) fails to comply with the requirement; or (b) gives false or misleading information in response to the requirement. 14 Honorary ambulance officers (1) The commissioner may appoint such persons as the commissioner considers appropriate to be honorary ambulance officers. (2) Honorary ambulance officers— (a) may carry out, without remuneration, such of the functions of the service as the commissioner may direct; and (b) are subject to the control and supervision of the commissioner. 15 Officers employed under this Act Service officers are to be employed under this Act, and not under the Public Service Act 2008 . Page 14 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 16] 16 No additional remuneration A service officer is not to seek or accept on account of anything done in the course of duty in the service any fee or reward not authorised by the chief executive. 17 Superannuation scheme (1) The Governor in Council may approve a superannuation scheme (other than the Queensland Ambulance Service Superannuation Scheme) for service officers or classes of service officers. (2) Every service officer (other than an honorary ambulance officer) must become a contributor to an approved superannuation scheme (if the officer is otherwise eligible under the terms of the scheme) and, while a service officer, must continue to contribute to the scheme in accordance with its terms. (3) A service officer who becomes a public service officer must, by written notice given to the chief executive within 2 months after starting employment with the public service, elect— (a) to continue to contribute to an approved superannuation scheme; or (b) to contribute to the superannuation scheme to which persons who become public service officers after the commencement of this section would usually contribute. 18 Retrenchment and redundancy If the chief executive is satisfied that— (a) the duties and functions of a position in the service are no longer required; or (b) the duties of the position are to be incorporated with those of another position; the chief executive may terminate the services of the officer in accordance with the retrenchment or redundancy arrangements approved by the Governor in Council. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 15
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18A] Division 4 Disciplinary action for service officers and former service officers Subdivision 1 Grounds and disciplinary action generally 18A Grounds for discipline (1) The chief executive may discipline a service officer if the chief executive is reasonably satisfied the officer has— (a) performed the officer’s duties carelessly, incompetently or inefficiently; or (b) been guilty of misconduct; or (c) been absent from duty without approved leave and without reasonable excuse; or (d) contravened, without reasonable excuse, a direction given to the officer as a service officer by a responsible person; or (e) used, without reasonable excuse, a substance to an extent that has adversely affected the competent performance of the officer’s duties; or (f) contravened, without reasonable excuse, a requirement of the chief executive under section 13A(1) in relation to the officer’s appointment by, in response to the requirement— (i) failing to disclose a serious disciplinary action; or (ii) giving false or misleading information; or (g) contravened, without reasonable excuse, a provision of this Act or an obligation imposed on the person under— (i) a code of practice; or (ii) a code of conduct— (A) approved under the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 ; or Page 16 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18A] (B) prescribed under a directive of the commission chief executive under the Public Service Act 2008 ; or (iii) an industrial instrument. (2) A disciplinary ground arises when the act or omission constituting the ground is done or made. (3) Also, the chief executive may— (a) discipline a service officer under subdivision 2 if a ground mentioned in subsection (1) exists; or (b) discipline a former service officer under subdivision 3 or 4 on the same grounds mentioned in subsection (1). (4) If the chief executive is contemplating taking disciplinary action against a service officer in relation to performance or conduct that the chief executive considers may have been influenced by the officer’s health, or on the ground of absence from duty, the chief executive may— (a) appoint a medical practitioner to examine the officer and to give the chief executive a written report about the officer’s mental or physical condition, or both; and (b) direct the officer to submit to the medical examination. (5) In this section— misconduct means— (a) inappropriate or improper conduct in an official capacity; or (b) inappropriate or improper conduct in a private capacity that reflects seriously and adversely on the ambulance service. Example of misconduct victimising another service officer in the course of the other officer’s employment in the ambulance service responsible person , for a direction, means a person with authority to give the direction, whether the authority derives from this Act or otherwise. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 17
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18B] 18B Disciplinary action that may be taken against a service officer generally (1) In disciplining a service officer, the chief executive may take the action, or order the action be taken, ( disciplinary action ) that the chief executive considers reasonable in the circumstances. Examples of disciplinary action termination of employment reduction of classification level and a consequential change of duties transfer or redeployment to other ambulance service employment forfeiture or deferment of a remuneration increment or increase reduction of remuneration level imposition of a monetary penalty if a penalty is imposed, a direction that the amount of the penalty be deducted from the officer’s periodic remuneration payments a reprimand (2) If the disciplinary action is taken following an agreement under section 18F(1) between the previous chief executive and the employing chief executive mentioned in the section, the chief executives must agree on the disciplinary action. (3) A monetary penalty can not be more than the total of 2 of the officer’s periodic remuneration payments. (4) Also, an amount directed to be deducted from any particular periodic remuneration payment of the officer— (a) must not be more than half of the amount payable to or for the officer in relation to the payment; and (b) must not reduce the amount of salary payable to the officer in relation to the period to less than— (i) if the officer has a dependant—the guaranteed minimum wage for each week of the period; or (ii) otherwise—two-thirds of the guaranteed minimum wage for each week of the period. (5) An order under subsection (1) is binding on anyone affected by it. Page 18 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18C] Note See the following provisions in relation to appeals against a decision of the chief executive to take disciplinary action against a person— (a) the Public Service Act 2008 , sections 23 and 194; (b) the Public Service Regulation 2008 , sections 5 and 7 and schedule 1, item 4. Subdivision 2 Disciplinary action against a service officer who was a public service employee or fire service officer 18C Application of sdiv 2 (1) This subdivision applies if— (a) a person is a public service employee in a department and a relevant disciplinary ground arises in relation to the person; and (b) after the relevant disciplinary ground arises, the person changes employment from that department to employment under section 13. (2) This subdivision also applies if— (a) a person is a fire service officer and a relevant disciplinary ground arises in relation to the person; and (b) after the relevant disciplinary ground arises, the person changes employment from employment as a fire service officer to employment under section 13. (3) However, this subdivision does not apply if the person’s previous chief executive has taken, is taking, or intends to take, disciplinary action against the person under a relevant disciplinary provision. Note See— (a) the Public Service Act 2008 , section 188A in relation to taking disciplinary action against a person who was a public service Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 19
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18D] employee; and (b) the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 , part 4, division 3, subdivision 3 in relation to taking disciplinary action against a person who was a fire service officer. (4) For this section, a person changes employment from a department, or from employment as a fire service officer, to employment under section 13 if— (a) the person’s employment under section 13 starts after the person’s employment in the department or as a fire service officer ends; or (b) the person is employed under section 13 following the commissioner transferring or redeploying the person from the department or the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. Note See the following provisions in relation to transfers or deployments by the commissioner— (a) the Public Service Act 2008 , sections 23 and 133; (b) the Public Service Regulation 2008 , section 5 and schedule 1, item 4. 18D Definitions for sdiv 2 In this subdivision— disciplinary finding , in relation to a relevant disciplinary ground, means a finding that a relevant disciplinary ground exists. employing chief executive means the chief executive under this Act. previous chief executive means— (a) for a person who was a public service employee—the chief executive of the department in which the person held an appointment, or was employed, as a public service employee; or Page 20 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18E] (b) for a person who was a fire service officer—the fire service chief executive . relevant disciplinary ground means— (a) for a person who was a public service employee—a disciplinary ground under the Public Service Act 2008 ; or (b) for a person who was a fire service officer—a disciplinary ground under the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990. relevant disciplinary provision means— (a) for a person who was a public service employee—the Public Service Act 2008 , chapter 6; or (b) for a person who was a fire service officer—the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 , part 4, division 3. 18E Action previous chief executive may take (1) The person’s previous chief executive may make a disciplinary finding about the relevant disciplinary ground even though the person is no longer employed— (a) for the chief executive of a department—as a public service employee in the chief executive’s department; or (b) for the fire service chief executive as a fire service officer. (2) The previous chief executive may not take disciplinary action about the relevant disciplinary ground other than to the extent provided under section 18F(1). (3) Despite subsection (1) and without limiting or being limited by any other power of delegation under any Act, the previous chief executive may delegate to the employing chief executive the authority under subsection (1) to make a disciplinary finding about the person. (4) The previous chief executive may give to the employing chief executive any information about a person or a relevant disciplinary ground relating to the person to help the Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 21
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18F] employing chief executive to perform a function under section 18F(1) or (2) in relation to the person. 18F Action employing chief executive may take (1) If— (a) the previous chief executive makes a disciplinary finding about the relevant disciplinary ground; and (b) the previous chief executive and the employing chief executive agree that disciplinary action against the person is reasonable in the circumstances; the employing chief executive may take disciplinary action against the person under section 18B as if a disciplinary ground under section 18A exists. (2) If— (a) the previous chief executive delegates to the employing chief executive the authority under section 18E(1) to make a disciplinary finding about the person; and (b) the employing chief executive makes a disciplinary finding about the person; the employing chief executive may take disciplinary action against the person under section 18B without the agreement of the previous chief executive. 18G Declaration if same chief executive is the previous chief executive and employing chief executive (1) This section applies if, in relation to a person who is a service officer, the chief executive is both the previous chief executive and employing chief executive under this subdivision. (2) This subdivision applies with necessary changes to allow the chief executive to take disciplinary action against the person as provided under this subdivision. Page 22 Current as at 20 May 2013
Subdivision 3 Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18H] Disciplinary action against a former service officer 18H Application of sdiv 3 (1) This subdivision applies if— (a) a disciplinary ground arises in relation to a service officer (the former service officer ); and (b) after the disciplinary ground arises, the officer’s employment as a service officer ends for any reason. (2) However, this subdivision does not apply in relation to a former service officer if the chief executive is aware— (a) the officer is a public service employee in a department and the officer’s chief executive under the Public Service Act 2008 has taken, is taking, or intends to take disciplinary action against the officer under section 188AB of that Act; or Note The Public Service Act 2008 , section 188AB provides for a public service employee’s chief executive to take disciplinary action under that Act against the employee in relation to a disciplinary ground that arose under this Act while the employee was a service officer. The section also empowers the chief executive under this Act to do particular things to facilitate disciplinary action being taken under the section. (b) the officer is a fire service officer and the fire service chief executive has taken, is taking, or intends to take disciplinary action against the officer under the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 , part 4, division 3, subdivision 2. Note The Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 , part 4, division 3, subdivision 2 provides for the fire service chief executive to take disciplinary action under that Act against a fire service officer in relation to a disciplinary ground that arose under this Act while the fire service officer was a service officer. The subdivision also empowers the chief executive under this Act to do particular Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 23
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18I] things to facilitate disciplinary action being taken under the subdivision. 18I Action chief executive may take (1) The chief executive may make a disciplinary finding or take or continue to take disciplinary action against the former service officer in relation to the disciplinary ground. (2) The disciplinary finding or disciplinary action must be made or taken within a period of 2 years after the end of the officer’s appointment. (3) However, subsection (2) does not stop disciplinary action being taken following an appeal or review. (4) Subsection (2) does not affect— (a) an investigation of a suspected criminal offence; or (b) an investigation of a matter for the purpose of notifying the Crime and Misconduct Commission of suspected official misconduct under the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001. (5) In disciplining the former service officer, the chief executive may make a disciplinary declaration and may not take any other disciplinary action. (6) The chief executive may only make a disciplinary declaration if the disciplinary action that would have been taken against the officer if the officer’s employment had not ended would have been— (a) termination of employment; or (b) reduction of classification level. (7) The making of the disciplinary declaration does not affect the way in which the officer’s employment ended, or any benefits, rights or liabilities arising because the employment ended. (8) In this section— disciplinary declaration means a declaration of— Page 24 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18J] (a) the disciplinary finding against the former service officer; and (b) the disciplinary action that would have been taken against the officer if the officer’s employment had not ended. Subdivision 4 Provisions about information about disciplinary action 18J Information about disciplinary action to be given by chief executive (1) This section applies if— (a) the chief executive of a department (the other chief executive ) asks the chief executive under this Act (the ambulance service chief executive ) for disciplinary information that the ambulance service chief executive has about a person who is or was a service officer; and (b) the information is reasonably necessary for the other chief executive to make a decision about— (i) an appointment or continued appointment, or employment or continued employment, of the person by the other chief executive; or (ii) a disciplinary finding, disciplinary action or disciplinary declaration the other chief executive is considering in relation to the person under a relevant Act. (2) The ambulance service chief executive must give the disciplinary information to the other chief executive unless the ambulance service chief executive is reasonably satisfied that giving the information may prejudice the investigation of a suspected contravention of the law in a particular case. (3) In this section— disciplinary information , in relation to a request made of the ambulance service chief executive about a person, means Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 25
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18K] information about the following made or taken against the person under this Act by the ambulance service chief executive or the commissioner— (a) a current investigation into whether the person should be disciplined; (b) a finding that the person should be disciplined; (c) possible disciplinary action under consideration; (d) disciplinary action, including a disciplinary declaration. relevant Act means— (a) the Public Service Act 2008 ; or (b) the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990. this Act includes a disciplinary provision of a code of practice, including a code of practice as in force from time to time before the commencement of this section. 18K Information about disciplinary action to be given to chief executive (1) This section applies if— (a) the chief executive (the ambulance service chief executive ) asks the chief executive of another department (the other chief executive ) for disciplinary information that the other chief executive has about a person who is or was— (i) a public service employee; or (ii) a fire service officer; and (b) the information is reasonably necessary for the ambulance service chief executive to make a decision about— (i) the employment or continued employment of the person under section 13; or (ii) a disciplinary finding, disciplinary action or disciplinary declaration the ambulance service Page 26 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18L] chief executive is considering in relation to the person under this Act. (2) The other chief executive must give the disciplinary information to the ambulance service chief executive unless the other chief executive is reasonably satisfied that giving the information may prejudice the investigation of a suspected contravention of the law in a particular case. (3) In this section— disciplinary information , in relation to a request made of the other chief executive about a person, means information about the following made or taken against the person under a public sector disciplinary law by the other chief executive or another entity— (a) a current investigation into whether the person should be disciplined; (b) a finding that the person should be disciplined; (c) possible disciplinary action under consideration; (d) disciplinary action, including a disciplinary declaration. 18L Use of particular information about disciplinary action obtained by chief executive in another capacity (1) This section applies if— (a) under a relevant Act, the chief executive has or has access to disciplinary information about a person who is or was— (i) a public service employee; or (ii) a fire service officer; and (b) the information is reasonably necessary for the chief executive to make a decision about— (i) the appointment or continued appointment of the person under section 13; or Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 27
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18M] (ii) a disciplinary finding, disciplinary action or disciplinary declaration the chief executive is considering in relation to the person under this Act. (2) Despite any other Act or law, the chief executive may use the disciplinary information for the purpose of making the decision mentioned in subsection (1)(b). (3) In this section— disciplinary information means information about the following made or taken against the person under a public sector disciplinary law— (a) a current investigation into whether the person should be disciplined; (b) a finding that the person should be disciplined; (c) possible disciplinary action under consideration; (d) disciplinary action, including a disciplinary declaration. relevant Act means— (a) the Public Service Act 2008 ; or (b) the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 . Subdivision 5 Other provisions about disciplinary action etc. 18M Suspension of service officer liable to discipline (1) The chief executive may suspend a service officer from duty if the chief executive reasonably believes the officer is liable to discipline under this Act. (2) The chief executive may cancel the suspension at any time. 18N Procedure for disciplinary action (1) In disciplining a service officer or former service officer or suspending a service officer, the chief executive must comply Page 28 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18O] with this Act, any relevant code of practice, and the principles of natural justice. (2) However, natural justice is not required if the suspension is on normal remuneration. (3) In this section— former service officer means a person who was a service officer. 18O Effect of suspension from duty (1) This section applies to a service officer suspended from duty under this subdivision unless the chief executive decides otherwise. (2) During the period of the suspension the officer is entitled to normal remuneration, less any amount earned by the officer from alternative employment that the officer engages in during the period. (3) For subsection (2), alternative employment does not include employment if— (a) the officer was engaged in the employment at the time of the suspension; and (b) the officer’s engaging in the employment was not in contravention of this Act or an obligation imposed on the officer under a code of conduct— (i) approved under the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 ; or (ii) prescribed under a directive of the commission chief executive under the Public Service Act 2008 . (4) The deduction under subsection (2) must not be more than the amount of the officer’s normal remuneration during the period of the suspension. (5) The continuity of the officer’s service as a service officer is taken not to have been broken only because of the suspension. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 29
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 18P] 18P Additional procedures for suspension or termination (1) If the chief executive decides to suspend or terminate the employment of a service officer, the chief executive must give the officer notice of the suspension or termination. (2) The notice must state— (a) for a suspension— (i) when the suspension starts and ends; and (ii) the remuneration to which the officer is entitled for the period of the suspension, under a decision mentioned in section 18O(1) or, if no decision has been made under section 18O(1), under section 18O(2); and (iii) the effect that alternative employment may, under section 18O, have on the entitlement; or (b) for a termination—the day when it takes effect. Division 5 Other matters about the service 19 Fund (1) The Queensland Ambulance Service Fund is established. (2) The Financial Accountability Act 2009 applies to the fund. (3) Accounts for the fund must be kept as part of the departmental accounts of the department. (4) Amounts received for the fund must be deposited in a departmental financial-institution account of the department but may be deposited in an account used for depositing other amounts of the department. (5) Amounts received for the fund include the following received by the service— (a) amounts received as charges for the use of ambulance services; Page 30 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 22] (b) amounts received by the department from other sources for the fund or amounts that must be paid into the fund; (c) amounts received for the disposal of an asset that the chief executive considers was purchased substantially with amounts paid from the fund or the previous fund; (d) interest from investment of the fund. (6) An amount is payable from the fund for the purposes of this Act. (7) In this section— departmental accounts , of the department, means the accounts of the department under the Financial Accountability Act 2009 , section 69. departmental financial-institution account , of the department, means an account of the department kept under the Financial Accountability Act 2009 , section 83. other amounts , of the department, means amounts received by the department other than amounts received for the fund. previous fund means the Ambulance Service Fund mentioned in the Financial Administration and Audit Act 1977 , schedule 2, immediately before the commencement of this section. 22 Delegations (1) The chief executive may delegate the chief executive’s powers under this Act to the commissioner or an appropriately qualified service officer. (2) The commissioner may delegate the commissioner’s powers under this Act to an appropriately qualified service officer. (3) In subsections (1) and (2)— appropriately qualified includes having the qualifications, experience or standing appropriate to exercise the power. Example of standing a person’s classification level in the service Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 31
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 2 Queensland Ambulance Service [s 23] 23 Requirement to report pool immersion incident (1) This section applies if the service is notified of a pool immersion incident. (2) The chief executive must ensure that, within 5 business days after notification of the pool immersion incident, the service gives written notice of the incident to the chief executive (health). (3) The notice must include the following information to the extent the service has it— (a) the name and date of birth of the young child to whom the pool immersion incident relates; (b) the date the pool immersion incident happened; (c) the address of the child’s parents; (d) the address where the pool immersion incident happened. (4) In this section— chief executive (health) means the chief executive of the department in which the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 is administered. pool immersion incident means an event involving the immersion or partial immersion of a young child under water in a swimming pool, if because of the immersion or partial immersion— (a) the child has died; or (b) the child has been deprived of air and the health or wellbeing of the child has been adversely affected. swimming pool means a swimming pool as defined under the Building Act 1975 , schedule 2. young child means an individual who is under 5 years. Page 32 Current as at 20 May 2013
Part 4 Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4 Local ambulance committees [s 26] Local ambulance committees Division 1 Establishment and functions of committees 26 Establishment of committees (1) The Minister may authorise the establishment of local ambulance committees. (2) A local ambulance committee is to be called ‘(name of area) local ambulance committee’. (3) A claim or proceeding by or against a committee may be made and enforced by a proceeding by or against a committee in the name of the committee. 27 Functions of committees The functions of a committee are— (a) to liaise between the community it represents and the service; and (b) to promote community participation in and awareness of ambulance services; and (c) to provide advice to the commissioner in respect of ambulance services in the community it represents; and (d) to undertake fundraising activities for the benefit of ambulance services in the community it represents; and (e) to manage money held on trust for the benefit of ambulance services in the community it represents; and (f) such other functions as the Minister agrees to. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 33
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4 Local ambulance committees [s 28] Division 2 Conduct of business and membership of committees 28 Conduct of business (1) Subject to its constitution, a committee may conduct its business, including its meetings, in the way it considers appropriate. (2) Any matter not conducted by a committee in accordance with its constitution or the Minister’s directions is invalid. 29 Members of committees (1) Adults who permanently reside or work in the area served, or to be served, by a committee may, at a general meeting called for the purpose, elect the committee’s members. (2) A person who— (a) does not permanently reside in the area served by a committee; or (b) is not an adult; or (c) is a service officer; or (d) is an undischarged bankrupt or takes advantage of the laws in force for the time being relating to bankruptcy; or (e) has been or is convicted in Queensland of an indictable offence or has been or is convicted elsewhere in respect of an act or omission that if done or made by that person in Queensland would have constituted an indictable offence; is not to be elected as or to continue to be a member of a committee. (2A) Also, a person is not eligible to be a member of a committee while the person is a member of another committee. (3) Each committee is to consist of— Page 34 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4 Local ambulance committees [s 29A] (a) a president; and (b) a vice-president; and (c) a secretary; and (d) a treasurer; and not less than 1 and not more than 11 other members. (3A) Despite subsection (3), a committee may consist of more than 11 other members if the Minister is satisfied additional members are required to ensure the community is adequately represented on the committee. (4) Nominations for election to a committee are to be sought, in the way stated in the committee’s constitution, from members of the public. (5) The election of members is to be conducted in accordance with the committee’s constitution. (6) Members of a committee elected under this section hold office in accordance with the committee’s constitution or for such longer period as the Minister may, in a particular case, specify. (7) A member of a committee must at all times act honestly in the exercise of the powers and the performance of duties that he or she has as a member of a committee. (8) A member of a committee must not make improper use of their office or position to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for himself, herself or any other person, or to cause detriment to the committee. (9) The Minister may remove a member of a committee from office if the Minister is satisfied it would be in the public interest to do so and has consulted the committee about the removal. 29A Dealing with vacancy in office of a member (1) This section applies if a vacancy arises in the office of a member of a committee (the first member ). Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 35
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4 Local ambulance committees [s 30] (2) Despite section 29(1), the remaining members of the committee may appoint a person who is eligible to be a member of a committee (a replacement member ) to the office. (3) Subject to section 29(2), (2A) and (9) and section 35, a replacement member holds office for the balance of the first member’s term of office. 30 Liability of members (1) A member of a committee is liable to repay to the committee any money that member— (a) improperly used; or (b) spent without the authorisation of or ratification by the committee. (2) The committee may recover any money referred to in subsection (1) by action in any court of competent jurisdiction, from the member who improperly used it or spent it without authorisation or ratification. 31 Protection of members (1) The members of a committee are not personally liable to contribute toward the payment of debts and liabilities of, or any judgment against, the committee. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of a personal guarantee given by a member of a committee in respect of arrangements by a committee. Division 3 Other matters about committees 31A Minister may approve or amend constitution (1) The Minister may approve a constitution for the conduct of a committee’s business. Page 36 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4 Local ambulance committees [s 31B] (2) Without limiting subsection (1), the constitution may provide for the following— (a) the election of committee members; (b) the term of office of a committee member; (c) the times and places of committee meetings; (d) the quorum for meetings; (e) other matters the Minister considers relevant to the conduct of a committee’s business. (3) The Minister may amend the constitution approved under subsection (1). (4) The constitution as approved and amended from time to time under this section is the constitution for each committee. 31B Commissioner to give constitution to committees (1) The commissioner must give a copy of the constitution to each committee as soon as practicable after it is approved under section 31A(1). (2) Also, if a committee is established after the commencement of this section, the commissioner must give a copy of the constitution to the committee as soon as practicable after it is established. (3) If the Minister amends the constitution, the commissioner must, as soon as practicable after it is amended, give each committee— (a) a written notice stating the amendment; or (b) a copy of the amended constitution. 32 Committees are statutory bodies (1) Under the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 , a committee is a statutory body. (2) The Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 , part 2B sets out the way in which a committee’s powers under this Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 37
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4 Local ambulance committees [s 33] Act are affected by the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 . 33 Application of laws The Collections Act 1966 does not apply to the fundraising activities of or the collecting of donations by a committee. 34 Investigations (1) The Minister may at any time cause an investigation to be made into any committee, including the exercise by that committee of its functions and the application of its funds. (2) The Minister may appoint a person to make the investigation on his or her behalf. (3) Officers of the committee are to produce to the person conducting the investigation all documents of the committee requested by the person conducting the investigation. (4) At the conclusion of an investigation the person conducting the investigation is to make a written report to the Minister. 35 Dissolution of committees The Minister may dissolve a committee if— (a) the committee has voted that it should be dissolved and has requested the Minister to dissolve it; or (b) in the opinion of the Minister, it has exhibited gross neglect of its functions, finances or administration; or (c) the Minister is satisfied it would be desirable in the public interest to do so. 36 Effect of dissolution If a committee is dissolved under section 35, the funds of the committee vest in the State on trust for the community represented by the committee. Page 38 Current as at 20 May 2013
Part 4A Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36A] Root cause analyses Division 1 Preliminary 36A Definitions for pt 4A In this part— chain of events document see section 36G(2). commissioning authority see section 36E. coroner see the Coroners Act 2003 , schedule 2. notice means written notice. RCA report see section 36G(1). RCA team means a group of persons appointed under section 36E. relevant person (a) for the commissioning authority, means a person who provides administrative or secretarial services to the authority to help it exercise its powers under this part; or (b) for an RCA team, means a person— (i) who provides administrative or secretarial services to the RCA team; or (ii) who advises the RCA team about— (A) conducting an RCA of a reportable event; or (B) preparing an RCA report or chain of events document for a reportable event. reportable event (a) generally, means any of the following events that happen while an ambulance service is being provided to a person— (i) the death of the person, or permanent injury suffered by the person, while giving birth; Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 39
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36B] (ii) the death of the person caused by the incorrect management of the person’s medication; (iii) the death of the person, or neurological damage suffered by the person, caused by an intravascular gas embolism; (iv) the death of the person, or permanent loss of function suffered by the person, unrelated to the natural course of the person’s medical condition for which he or she was receiving the ambulance service; (v) the death of the person, or permanent injury suffered by the person, contributed to by an unreasonable delay in the provision of the ambulance service or a failure to meet recognised standards for providing the ambulance service; (vi) the wrong procedure being performed on the person or a procedure being performed on the wrong part of the person’s body; or (b) in relation to an RCA report or chain of events document, means the reportable event to which the report or document relates. 36B Meaning of root cause analysis (1) Root cause analysis or RCA , of a reportable event, means a systematic process of analysis under which— (a) factors that contributed to the happening of the event may be identified; and (b) remedial measures that could be implemented to prevent a recurrence of a similar event may be identified. (2) However, a root cause analysis or RCA of a reportable event does not include— (a) investigating the professional competence of a person in relation to the event; or Page 40 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36C] (b) finding out who is to blame for the happening of the event. 36C Purpose of pt 4A The purpose of this part is to facilitate the use of root cause analyses by the Queensland Ambulance Service as a quality improvement technique to assess and respond to reportable events that happen while ambulance services are being provided. 36D Guiding principles for conduct of RCA of reportable event The principles intended to guide the conduct of an RCA of a reportable event are the following— (a) reporting and acknowledging errors happening while ambulance services are being provided are encouraged if people do not fear blame or reprisal; (b) people involved in providing ambulance services should be accountable for their actions; (c) the focus of the RCA should be on identifying and improving the policies, procedures or practices relating to the provision of the ambulance service that contributed to the happening of the event, rather than on the conduct of individuals; (d) participation in the RCA should be voluntary; (e) the benefits of conducting the RCA will be maximised— (i) in an environment oriented towards learning from analysing the event; and (ii) if the RCA is conducted in a timely way; (f) teamwork, good communication and sharing of information by people involved in providing ambulance services should be fostered. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 41
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36E] Division 2 RCA teams 36E Appointment of RCA team The commissioner (the commissioning authority ) may appoint persons to be members of an RCA team to conduct an RCA of a reportable event. 36F Requirements for appointment (1) Before appointing persons to be members of an RCA team to conduct an RCA of a reportable event, the commissioning authority must be satisfied that— (a) the persons— (i) have the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to conduct an RCA of the event, having regard to the nature of the event; and (ii) were not directly involved in providing the ambulance service during the provision of which the event happened; and (b) the conduct by the proposed RCA team of an RCA of the event would be assisted by the provision of immunities and protections provided to persons under divisions 5 and 6; and (c) the potential benefit in disclosing relevant information is outweighed by the potential benefit of restricting disclosure of the information under division 5. (2) In this section— relevant information means information that will be compiled by the proposed RCA team in the conduct of an RCA of the reportable event. Page 42 Current as at 20 May 2013
Division 3 Reporting Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36G] 36G RCA team’s report and chain of events document (1) An RCA team must, as soon as practicable after conducting an RCA of a reportable event, prepare a report (the RCA report ) stating the following— (a) a description of the event; (b) a statement of the factors the RCA team considers contributed to the happening of the event; (c) any recommendations about changes or improvements in a policy, procedure or practice relating to the provision of ambulance services, to reduce the likelihood of, or prevent, the same type of event happening again during the provision of ambulance services. (2) In addition to the RCA report, the RCA team may prepare a document (the chain of events document ) that details, or pictorially represents, the chain of events identified by the RCA team as having led to the happening of the reportable event. (3) The RCA report or chain of events document must not contain the name or address of— (a) a person involved in providing the relevant ambulance service; or (b) the person who received the relevant ambulance service; or (c) a member of the RCA team. (4) In this section— relevant ambulance service means the ambulance service during the provision of which the reportable event happened. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 43
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36H] 36H Reporting to commissioning authority (1) The RCA team must, as soon as practicable after preparing the RCA report, give the report to the commissioning authority. (2) If the RCA team prepares a chain of events document for the reportable event, it must at the time of giving the RCA report under subsection (1) also give the document to the commissioning authority. Division 4 Stopping conduct of RCA of reportable event 36I Definition for div 4 In this division— blameworthy act means any of the following— (a) an intentionally unsafe act; (b) deliberate abuse of a person receiving an ambulance service; (c) conduct that constitutes a criminal offence. 36J Stopping conduct of RCA of reportable event—RCA team (1) This section applies if, while conducting an RCA of a reportable event, the RCA team conducting the RCA reasonably believes— (a) the event involves a blameworthy act; or (b) the capacity of a person who was directly involved in providing the relevant ambulance service to safely and effectively provide the service was impaired by alcohol consumed, or a drug taken, by the person. (2) The RCA team must— (a) stop conducting the RCA; and Page 44 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36K] (b) give notice to the commissioning authority that the RCA team has stopped conducting the RCA. (3) For subsection (2)(b), the notice— (a) must be in the form approved by the chief executive; and (b) must not contain any information about why the RCA team stopped conducting the RCA. (4) In this section— relevant ambulance service means the ambulance service during the provision of which the reportable event happened. 36K Stopping conduct of RCA of reportable event—commissioning authority (1) This section applies if— (a) the commissioning authority has appointed persons to be members of an RCA team to conduct an RCA of a reportable event; and (b) the commissioning authority— (i) receives information that leads the commissioning authority to reasonably believe— (A) the event involves a blameworthy act; or (B) the capacity of a person who was directly involved in providing the relevant ambulance service to safely and effectively provide the service was impaired by alcohol consumed, or a drug taken, by the person; or (ii) becomes aware that a relevant entity has started an investigation or assessment of, or enquiry into, the event; or (iii) later comes to the view that the event the basis of the appointment is not a reportable event. (2) If subsection (1)(b)(i) or (iii) applies, the commissioning authority must, by notice given to the RCA team, direct it to stop conducting the RCA. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 45
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36L] (3) If subsection (1)(b)(ii) applies, the commissioning authority may, by notice given to the RCA team, direct it to stop conducting the RCA. (4) For subsection (2) or (3), the notice given to the RCA team must be in the form approved by the chief executive. (5) Before acting under subsection (3), the commissioning authority may consult with any relevant entity. (6) In this section— relevant ambulance service means the ambulance service during the provision of which the reportable event happened. relevant entity means— (a) the Health Quality and Complaints Commission; or (b) a coroner; or (c) a board under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law; or (d) the commissioner of the police service; or (e) another entity that has the power under an Act of the State, the Commonwealth or another State to investigate the event. Division 5 Disclosure or release of information 36L Definitions for div 5 In this division— excluded notifiable conduct , for a registered health practitioner, means the practitioner has— (a) practised the practitioner’s profession while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs; or (b) practised the practitioner’s profession in a way that constitutes a significant departure from accepted professional standards but not in a way that placed the public at risk of substantial harm; or Page 46 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36M] (c) engaged in sexual misconduct in connection with the practice of the practitioner’s profession. impairment see the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Queensland), section 5. information includes a document. medical director means the Queensland Ambulance Service officer with the title ‘medical director’ or, if from time to time the title is changed, the changed title. National Agency see the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Queensland), section 5. public risk notifiable conduct , for a registered health practitioner, means the practitioner has— (a) placed the public at risk of substantial harm in the practitioner’s practice of the profession because the practitioner has an impairment; or (b) placed the public at risk of substantial harm because the practitioner has practised the profession in a way that constitutes a significant departure from accepted professional standards. registered health practitioner means an individual who— (a) is registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise a health profession, other than as a student; or (b) holds non-practising registration under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law in a health profession. 36M Disclosure of information—RCA team member or relevant person (1) A person who is or was a member of an RCA team must not disclose to someone else information acquired by the person as a member of the RCA team, other than for the purpose (an authorised purpose ) of— Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 47
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36M] (a) the RCA team conducting an RCA of a reportable event; or (b) the RCA team preparing an RCA report or chain of events document; or (c) the RCA team giving the commissioning authority— (i) an RCA report or chain of events document under section 36H; or (ii) a notice under section 36J; or (d) if the person is a registered health practitioner—notifying the National Agency about information in relation to a reasonable belief of the person that another registered health practitioner has behaved in a way that constitutes public risk notifiable conduct. Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (2) Also, a person who is or was a relevant person for an RCA team must not disclose to someone else information acquired by the person as a relevant person for the RCA team, other than for an authorised purpose. Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (3) If information that may be disclosed under subsection (1) or (2) for an authorised purpose is information to which section 49(1) applies, the information is for the purposes of section 49(2)(a) information that is expressly authorised or permitted to be given under this Act. (4) In this section— information includes— (a) the identity of a member of the RCA team; and (b) information from which a member of the RCA team could be identified. Page 48 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36N] 36N Disclosure of information—commissioning authority or relevant person (1) A person who is or was the commissioning authority must not disclose to someone else information contained in an RCA report or chain of events document, or give someone else a copy of an RCA report or chain of events document, received by the person under section 36H, other than— (a) as required or permitted under sections 36O to 36S; or (b) as permitted under subsection (2). Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (2) The commissioning authority may give a safety and quality report prepared by the commissioning authority to an entity with responsibilities for the management of safety initiatives and programs for the Queensland Ambulance Service. (3) Also, a person who is or was the commissioning authority must not disclose to someone else— (a) the identity of a member of an RCA team; or (b) information from which a member of the RCA team could be identified. Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (4) Subsections (1) and (3) do not apply to the disclosure of information by the commissioning authority that is necessary or incidental to the exercise by the authority of its powers under this part. (5) Also, a person who is or was a relevant person for the commissioning authority must not disclose to someone else information acquired by the person as a relevant person for the authority. Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (6) Subsection (5) does not apply to the disclosure of information by a relevant person for the commissioning authority for the purpose of helping the authority exercise its powers under this part. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 49
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36NA] (7) If information that may be disclosed under this section is information to which section 49(1) applies, the information is for the purposes of section 49(2)(a) information that is expressly authorised or permitted to be given under this Act. (8) This section does not authorise the attachment of a copy of an RCA report or chain of events document to a safety and quality report. (9) In this section— safety and quality report means a report about the safety and quality of the ambulance service to which an RCA report relates that is based on information contained in the RCA report. 36NA Information about excluded notifiable conduct (1) This section applies for the purpose of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Queensland), section 141(4)(d). (2) An RCA team is an approved body under this Act. (3) Subsection (4) applies if— (a) a person is or was a member of an RCA team; and (b) the person is a registered health practitioner; and (c) the person forms a reasonable belief that another registered health practitioner has behaved in a way that constitutes excluded notifiable conduct; and (d) the information that forms the basis of the reasonable belief was acquired while the person was exercising functions as a member of the RCA team. (4) The person must not disclose the information that forms the basis of the reasonable belief. Page 50 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36O] 36O Release of information to Health Quality and Complaints Commission The commissioning authority must, as soon as practicable after receiving an RCA report under section 36H, give the Health Quality and Complaints Commission— (a) a copy of the report; and (b) details of the place where the reportable event happened. 36P Giving of copy of RCA report or chain of events document—medical director (1) The commissioning authority may give a copy of each RCA report or chain of events document received by the authority under section 36H to the medical director for an authorised purpose. (2) At the time of giving a copy of an RCA report or chain of events document to the medical director under section 36H, the commissioning authority must also give the medical director— (a) details of the reportable event; and (b) details of the place where the event happened. (3) The medical director— (a) must not give a copy of the report or document to anyone else, other than a person who performs functions relating to the authorised purpose for the medical director; and (b) must not disclose any information contained in the copy of the report or document, or information mentioned in subsection (2), to anyone else other than for the authorised purpose for which the copy of the report or document was given; and (c) must not use the copy of the report or document, and the information mentioned in subsection (2), other than for the authorised purpose for which the copy of the report or document was given. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 51
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36Q] Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (4) A person who performs functions relating to the authorised purpose for the medical director— (a) must not give a copy of the report or document to anyone else; and (b) must not disclose any information contained in the copy of the report or document, or information mentioned in subsection (2), to anyone else other than for the authorised purpose for which the copy of the report or document was given; and (c) must not use the copy of the report or document, and the information mentioned in subsection (2), other than for the authorised purpose for which the copy of the report or document was given. Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (5) An authorised purpose mentioned in subsection (3)(b) or (c) or subsection (4)(b) or (c) does not include the disclosure of information contained in the copy of the RCA report or chain of events document, or information mentioned in subsection (2), that may lead to the identification of— (a) a person involved in providing the relevant ambulance service; or (b) the person who received the relevant ambulance service. (6) In this section— authorised purpose means a purpose relating to the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of safety initiatives and programs for the Queensland Ambulance Service. relevant ambulance service means the ambulance service during the provision of which the reportable event happened. 36Q Giving of copy of RCA report etc.—investigation under the Coroners Act 2003 (1) This section applies if— Page 52 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36Q] (a) a coroner is investigating the death of a person; and (b) the death is a reportable event that happened while an ambulance service was being provided to the person. (2) This section also applies if— (a) a coroner is investigating the death of a person; and (b) the coroner considers that a reportable event that happened while an ambulance service was being provided to the person may be relevant to the investigation; and (c) the event is not the death. (3) If the coroner, or a police officer helping the coroner to investigate the death, asks the commissioning authority whether an RCA team has conducted or is conducting an RCA of the reportable event, the commissioning authority must respond to the query as soon as practicable. Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (4) Subsection (5) applies if— (a) an RCA of the reportable event has been conducted by an RCA team; and (b) an RCA report relating to the event has been given under section 36H to the commissioning authority; and (c) the commissioning authority has under subsection (3) received a query from the coroner or a police officer helping the coroner to investigate the death. (5) The commissioning authority must— (a) if the commissioning authority received the report before receiving the query under subsection (3)—give a copy of the report to the coroner or police officer as soon as practicable after receiving the query; or (b) if the commissioning authority had not received the report before receiving the query under subsection (3)—give a copy of the report to the coroner or police officer as soon as practicable after receiving the report. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 53
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36R] Maximum penalty—50 penalty units. (6) Subsection (7) applies if— (a) an RCA has been started by an RCA team in relation to the reportable event; and (b) the RCA team has, under section 36J(2) or 36K(2) or (3), stopped conducting the RCA; and (c) the commissioning authority has under subsection (3) received a query from the coroner or a police officer helping the coroner to investigate the death. (7) The commissioning authority must— (a) if the RCA team stopped conducting the RCA before the commissioning authority received the query under subsection (3)—give the coroner or police officer a stop notice as soon as practicable after receiving the query; or (b) otherwise—give the coroner or police officer a stop notice as soon as practicable. (8) In this section— stop notice means a notice stating— (a) if the RCA team stopped conducting the RCA under section 36J(2)—that fact; or (b) if the RCA team stopped conducting the RCA because of a direction given by the commissioning authority under section 36K(2) or (3)— (i) that fact; and (ii) the reasons for giving the direction. 36R Giving of information to Minister or chief executive (1) The Minister or chief executive may, in relation to an RCA of a reportable event, ask the commissioning authority— (a) whether an RCA report has been received by the authority under section 36H; and Page 54 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36S] (b) if an RCA report has been received by the authority under section 36H—for a copy of the report. (2) The authority must comply with the request as soon as practicable. 36S Giving of copy of, or information contained in, RCA report—person who has sufficient personal or professional interest The commissioning authority may give a copy of an RCA report received by the authority under section 36H, or information contained in the report, to a person who the authority reasonably believes has a sufficient personal or professional interest in the reportable event. 36T Information not to be given in evidence (1) A stated person is neither competent nor compellable— (a) to produce in a proceeding, or in compliance with a requirement under an Act or legal process, any document in the person’s possession or under the person’s control created— (i) by, or at the request of, a person under this part; or (ii) solely for the conduct of an RCA of a reportable event; or (b) to divulge or communicate in a proceeding, or in compliance with a requirement under an Act or legal process, information that came to the person’s notice as a stated person. Example Under subsection (1), a stated person is neither competent nor compellable to produce a document or give information mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) of the subsection to an authorised person under a notice given to the stated person under the Health Quality and Complaints Commission Act 2006 , section 123. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 55
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36U] (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a requirement made in proceedings for an alleged offence against this part or section 49 by the stated person. (3) In this section— information includes— (a) the identity of a member of an RCA team; and (b) information from which a member of an RCA team could be identified. stated person means a person who is or was any of the following— (a) a member of an RCA team; (b) the commissioning authority; (c) a relevant person for an RCA team or the commissioning authority; (d) a person who performs functions for the medical director. 36U Information provider can not be compelled to give particular information in evidence A person can not be compelled to divulge or communicate in a proceeding, or in compliance with a requirement under an Act or legal process, any of the following information— (a) whether or not the person gave information to an RCA team for its conduct of an RCA of a reportable event; (b) what information the person gave to an RCA team for its conduct of an RCA of a reportable event; (c) information given by the person to an RCA team that was created by the person or another person solely for its conduct of an RCA of a reportable event; (d) information the person was given, or questions the person was asked, by an RCA team during its conduct of an RCA of a reportable event. Page 56 Current as at 20 May 2013
Division 6 Protections Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36V] 36V Protection from liability (1) A person who is or was a member of an RCA team, or relevant person for an RCA team, is not civilly liable for an act done, or omission made, honestly and without negligence under this part. (2) Without limiting subsection (1), if the act or omission involves giving information— (a) in a proceeding for defamation, the person has a defence of absolute privilege for publishing the information; and (b) if the person would otherwise be required to maintain confidentiality about the information given under an Act, oath, or rule of law or practice, the person— (i) does not contravene the Act, oath, or rule of law or practice by giving the information; and (ii) is not liable to disciplinary action for giving the information. (3) If a person who is or was a member of an RCA team, or relevant person for an RCA team, incurs costs in defending proceedings relating to a liability against which the person is protected under this section, the person must be indemnified by the State. 36W Giving of information protected (1) This section applies to a person who honestly and on reasonable grounds gives information to an RCA team, or a relevant person for an RCA team, for the RCA team’s conduct of an RCA of a reportable event. Examples of persons who may give information under subsection (1) the commissioning authority a relevant person for the commissioning authority Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 57
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36X] (2) The person is not subject to any liability for giving the information and no action, claim or demand may be taken or made of or against the person for giving the information. (3) Also, merely because the person gives the information, the person can not be held to have— (a) breached any code of professional etiquette or ethics; or (b) departed from accepted standards of professional conduct. (4) Without limiting subsections (2) and (3)— (a) in a proceeding for defamation, the person has a defence of absolute privilege for publishing the information; and (b) if the person would otherwise be required to maintain confidentiality about the information under an Act, oath, or rule of law or practice, the person— (i) does not contravene the Act, oath, or rule of law or practice by giving the information; and (ii) is not liable to disciplinary action for giving the information. 36X Reprisal and grounds for reprisals (1) A person must not cause, or attempt or conspire to cause, detriment to another person because, or in the belief that, anybody has provided, or may provide, assistance to an RCA team in its conduct of an RCA of a reportable event. (2) An attempt to cause detriment includes an attempt to induce a person to cause detriment. (3) A contravention of subsection (1) is a reprisal or the taking of a reprisal. (4) A ground mentioned in subsection (1) as the ground for a reprisal is the unlawful ground for the reprisal. (5) For the contravention to happen, it is sufficient if the unlawful ground is a substantial ground for the act or omission that is Page 58 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 4A Root cause analyses [s 36Y] the reprisal, even if there is another ground for the act or omission. 36Y Offence for taking reprisal (1) A person who takes a reprisal commits an offence. Maximum penalty—167 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment. (2) The offence is a misdemeanour. 36Z Damages entitlement for reprisal (1) A reprisal is a tort and a person who takes a reprisal is liable in damages to any person who suffers detriment as a result. (2) Any appropriate remedy that may be granted by a court for a tort may be granted by a court for the taking of a reprisal. (3) If the claim for damages goes to trial in the Supreme Court or the District Court, it must be decided by a judge sitting without a jury. Division 7 Miscellaneous 36ZA Application of provisions of this part If the commissioning authority acts or purports to act under section 36E and it transpires the event the basis of the action is not a reportable event, the provisions of this part apply as if the event were a reportable event. 36ZB RCA report not admissible in evidence (1) An RCA report is not admissible in evidence in any proceedings, including, for example— (a) a civil proceeding; or (b) a criminal proceeding; or Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 59
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5 Administration and powers [s 36ZC] (c) a disciplinary proceeding under the Health Practitioners (Disciplinary Proceedings) Act 1999 or the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. (2) However, a copy of an RCA report given to a coroner under section 36Q may be admitted in evidence by a coroner in an inquest under the Coroners Act 2003 into the death of a person— (a) if section 36Q(1) applies—if the reportable event is the death; or (b) if section 36Q(2) applies—if the reportable event happened while an ambulance service was being provided to the person. (3) Subsection (1) applies subject to section 36T(2). 36ZC Review of pt 4A (1) The Minister must, before the second anniversary of the commencement of section 36E, start a review of this part to ensure it is adequately meeting community expectations and its provisions remain appropriate. (2) The Minister must, as soon as practicable after the review is finished, cause a report of the outcome of the review to be laid before the Legislative Assembly. Part 5 Administration and powers 37 Authorised officers The commissioner may authorise a service officer, or service officers of a class of service officers, to exercise— (a) all the powers conferred by this Act on an authorised officer; or Page 60 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5 Administration and powers [s 38] (b) any power or class of power conferred by this Act on an authorised officer. 38 Powers of authorised officers (1) An authorised officer, in providing ambulance services, may take any reasonable measures— (a) to protect persons from any danger or potential danger associated with an emergency situation; and (b) to protect persons trapped in a vehicle, receptacle, vessel or otherwise endangered; and (c) to protect themselves or other officers or persons from danger, potential danger or assault from other persons. (2) Without limiting the measures that may be taken for a purpose specified in subsection (1)(a) or (b), an authorised officer may, for that purpose— (a) enter any premises, vehicle or vessel; and (b) open any receptacle, using such force as is reasonably necessary; and (c) bring any apparatus or equipment onto premises; and (d) remove from or otherwise deal with, any article or material in the area; and (e) destroy (wholly or partially) or damage any premises, vehicle, vessel or receptacle; and (f) cause the gas or electricity supply or motor or any other source of energy to any premises, vehicle, vessel or receptacle to be shut off or disconnected; and (g) request any person to take all reasonable measures to assist the authorised officer; and (h) administer such basic life support and advanced life support procedures as are consistent with the training and qualifications of the authorised officer. (3) Without limiting the measures that may be taken for a purpose specified in subsection (1)(c), an authorised officer may, for Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 61
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5 Administration and powers [s 39] that purpose, require any person not to enter into or remain within a specified area around the site of the danger to a patient. 39 Protection from certain liability (1) The State is to indemnify every service officer against all actions, proceedings and claims in relation to— (a) acts done, or omitted to be done, by the officer under section 38; or (b) acts done, or omitted to be done, by the officer in good faith for the purposes of section 38. (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a service officer includes a person required under section 38(2)(g) to assist an authorised officer. 40 Power to accept gifts etc. (1) The State and each committee may acquire, for any purpose connected with— (a) the provision of ambulance services; or (b) any of its functions; any property by gift, devise or bequest and may agree to carry out the conditions of the gift, devise or bequest. (2) If the gift, devise or bequest is of property other than money and is given or made to a committee, the property vests in the State on trust for the committee. 41 Codes of practice (1) The commissioner may issue codes of practice, not inconsistent with this Act, relating to— (a) the functions, powers, conduct, discipline and appearance of service officers; and Page 62 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5A Investigation officers [s 41A] (b) the performance of duties and the training of service officers; and (c) any functions imposed or powers conferred by this Act. (2) The commissioner may amend or revoke a code of practice. (3) Wilful failure to comply with a code of practice is grounds for disciplinary action. Part 5A Investigation officers Division 1 Investigation officers 41A Appointment (1) The commissioner may appoint any of the following persons as an investigation officer— (a) a public service employee; (b) a service officer; (c) a person prescribed under a regulation. (2) However, the commissioner may appoint a person as an investigation officer only if the commissioner is satisfied the person is qualified for appointment because the person has the necessary expertise or experience. 41B Appointment conditions and limit on powers (1) An investigation officer holds office on any conditions stated in— (a) the officer’s instrument of appointment; or (b) a signed notice given to the officer; or (c) a regulation. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 63
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5A Investigation officers [s 41C] (2) The instrument of appointment, a signed notice given to the investigation officer or a regulation may limit the officer’s powers under this Act. (3) In this section— signed notice means a notice signed by the commissioner. 41C When investigation officer ceases to hold office (1) An investigation officer ceases to hold office if any of the following happens— (a) the term of office stated in a condition of office ends; (b) under another condition of office, the officer ceases to hold office. (2) Subsection (1) does not limit the ways an investigation officer may cease to hold office. (3) In this section— condition of office means a condition on which the investigation officer holds office. 41D Functions of investigation officers An investigation officer has the function of investigating offences against sections 44 to 45C and 47. 41E Issue of identity card (1) The commissioner must issue an identity card to each investigation officer. (2) The identity card must— (a) contain a recent photo of the investigation officer; and (b) contain a copy of the investigation officer’s signature; and (c) identify the person as an investigation officer under this Act; and Page 64 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5A Investigation officers [s 41F] (d) state an expiry date for the card. (3) This section does not prevent the issue of a single identity card to a person for this Act and other purposes. 41F Production or display of identity card (1) In exercising a power under this part in relation to a person, an investigation officer must— (a) produce the officer’s identity card for the person’s inspection before exercising the power; or (b) have the identity card displayed so it is clearly visible to the person when exercising the power. (2) However, if it is not practicable to comply with subsection (1), the investigation officer must produce the identity card for the person’s inspection at the first reasonable opportunity. (3) For subsection (1), an investigation officer does not exercise a power in relation to a person only because the officer has entered a place as mentioned in section 41H(1)(b) or (2). 41G Return of identity card A person who ceases to be an investigation officer must return the person’s identity card to the commissioner within 21 days after ceasing to be an investigation officer unless the person has a reasonable excuse. Maximum penalty—10 penalty units. Division 2 Powers of investigation officers 41H Power to enter places (1) An investigation officer may enter a place if— (a) an occupier of the place consents to the entry; or (b) it is a public place and the entry is made when it is open to the public. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 65
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5A Investigation officers [s 41I] (2) For the purpose of asking the occupier of a place for consent to enter, an investigation officer may, without the occupier’s consent or a warrant— (a) enter land around premises at the place to an extent that is reasonable to contact the occupier; or (b) enter part of the place the officer reasonably considers members of the public ordinarily are allowed to enter when they wish to contact the occupier. (3) In this section— public place means— (a) a place to which members of the public have access as of right, whether or not on payment of a fee and whether or not access to the place may be restricted at particular times or for particular purposes; or (b) a part of a place that the occupier of the place allows members of the public to enter, but only while the place is ordinarily open to members of the public. 41I Entry with consent (1) This section applies if an investigation officer intends to ask an occupier of a place to consent to the officer or another officer entering the place. (2) Before asking for the consent, the investigation officer must tell the occupier— (a) the purpose of the entry; and (b) that the occupier is not required to consent. (3) If the consent is given, the investigation officer may ask the occupier to sign an acknowledgement of the consent. (4) The acknowledgement must state— (a) the occupier has been told— (i) the purpose of the entry; and (ii) that the occupier is not required to consent; and Page 66 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5A Investigation officers [s 41J] (b) the purpose of the entry; and (c) the occupier gives the investigation officer consent to enter the place and exercise powers under this part; and (d) the time and date the consent was given. (5) If the occupier signs an acknowledgement, the investigation officer must immediately give a copy to the occupier. (6) If— (a) an issue arises in a proceeding about whether the occupier consented to the entry; and (b) an acknowledgement complying with subsection (4) for the entry is not produced in evidence; the onus of proof is on the person relying on the lawfulness of the entry to prove the occupier consented. 41J General powers after entering places (1) This section applies to an investigation officer who enters a place. (2) However, if an investigation officer enters a place to get the occupier’s consent to enter a place, this section applies to the officer only if the consent is given or the entry is otherwise authorised. (3) For monitoring and enforcing compliance with sections 44 to 45C and 47, the investigation officer may— (a) copy a document at the place or take the document to another place to copy it; or (b) require a person at the place, to give the officer reasonable help to exercise the officer’s powers under paragraph (a); or (c) require a person at the place, to answer questions by the officer to help the officer ascertain whether the person, or another person at the place, committed an offence against section 44, 45, 45A, 45B, 45C or 47. Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 67
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 5A Investigation officers [s 41K] (4) When making a requirement mentioned in subsection (3)(b) or (c), the investigation officer must warn the person it is an offence to fail to comply with the requirement, unless the person has a reasonable excuse. (5) If an authorised officer takes a document from a place to copy it, the document must be copied as soon as practicable and returned to the place. (6) To remove any doubt, it is declared that this section applies to an investigation officer who is also an authorised officer and entered a place for the purpose of exercising a power under section 38(1). (7) Also, the powers an investigation officer mentioned in subsection (6) has under this section are in addition to, and do not limit, any powers the officer may have under section 38(1). 41K Power to require name and address (1) This section applies if an investigation officer— (a) finds a person committing an offence against section 44, 45, 45A, 45B, 45C or 47; or (b) finds a person in circumstances that lead the officer to reasonably suspect the person has just committed an offence against section 44, 45, 45A, 45B, 45C or 47; or (c) has information that leads the officer to reasonably suspect a person has committed an offence against section 44, 45, 45A, 45B, 45C or 47. (2) The investigation officer may require the person to state the person’s name and residential address. (3) When making the requirement, the investigation officer must warn the person it is an offence to fail to state the person’s name or residential address, unless the person has a reasonable excuse. (4) The investigation officer may require the person to give the officer evidence of the correctness of the stated name or Page 68 Current as at 20 May 2013
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 6 Offences [s 41L] residential address if the officer reasonably suspects the stated name or address to be false. Division 3 Protection from liability 41L Protection from liability (1) An investigation officer is not civilly liable for an act done, or omission made, honestly and without negligence, when acting as an investigation officer. (2) If subsection (1) prevents a civil liability attaching to an investigation officer liability attaches instead to the State. (3) In this section— investigation officer includes a person required to help an investigation officer under section 41J(3)(b). Part 6 Offences 42 Right of way to ambulances (1) Despite the provisions of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 , a driver of a vehicle (other than a train), to the extent practicable, is to give clear and uninterrupted passage to— (a) any ambulance with warning devices sounding or warning lights activated; and (b) any service officer or any person acting under the direction of a service officer who appears to be doing any act for the purposes of assisting at an accident or other emergency. (2) A person is not to fail to comply with subsection (1). Current as at 20 May 2013 Page 69
Ambulance Service Act 1991 Part 6 Offences [s 43] Maximum penalty for subsection (2)—50 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment. 43 Unauthorised ambulance transport (1) A person, other than the chief executive or the commissioner, is not to directly or indirectly imply that the person provides or participates in providing ambulance transport without the approval of the Minister and except in accordance with such conditions (if any) as the Minister may impose. Maximum penalty— (a) in the case of an individual—16 penalty units; or (b) in the case of a corporation—50 penalty units. (2) The Minister may revoke any approval given, or revoke or vary any condition imposed, under this section. (3) This section does not apply to— (a) the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia; and (b) an ambulance service conducted under the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011. 44 Failure to help investigation officer (1) A person required to give reasonable help under section 41J(3)(b) must comply with the requirement, unless the person has a reasonable excuse. Maximum penalty—10 penalty units. (2) It is a reasonable excuse for the person not to comply with the requirement because complying with the requirement might tend to incriminate the person. 45 Failure to answer questions (1) A