UPDATE APRIL 24 2017
Kerry Baker has had a reprimand and conditions placed on her registration, in what is now her second regulatory sanction, for anti-vaccination activism, in four years:
On 18 April 2017, the Performance and Professional Standards Panel (the Panel) established by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the Board) resolved to reprimand the practitioner and impose conditions on her registration.
1 The Practitioner is to undertake and successfully complete a program of education, approved by the Board and including a reflective practice report, addressing the professional obligations of a registered nurse, in particular:
a The Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia; and
b The Social Media Policy.
2 Within 28 days of the notice of the imposition of these conditions, the Practitioner must nominate to the Board for approval, in writing, an education course, assessment or program (the education) addressing the topics required. The Practitioner must ensure:
a The nomination includes a copy of the curriculum of the education.
b If the education is to be a tailored program conducted by an individual, the Practitioner must provide a detailed plan of the training program and a copy of the curriculum vitae of the individual to provide the training.
3 The Practitioner must complete the education within 6 months of the notice of Board’s approval of the education.
4 Within 28 days of the completion of the education, the Practitioner is to provide:
a Evidence of successful completion of the education.
b A reflective practice report to the Board demonstrating, to the satisfaction of the Board, that the Practitioner has reflected on the issues that gave rise to this condition and how the Practitioner has incorporated the lessons learnt in the education into the Practitioner’s practice and confirmation that the Practitioner has not included this education or the preparation of this written report to satisfy their continuing professional development requirements.
5 The Practitioner must not use the education and/or reflective practice report undertaken in compliance with these restrictions to satisfy the practitioner’s CPD requirements.
6 An AHPRA Manager or Team Leader may approve the nominated education course in accordance with these conditions.
7 All costs and expenses in relation to the terms set out in these conditions are to be at the registrant’s expense.
8 The registrant will provide to the Board any documentary evidence required by these conditions, within the timeframes specified.
9 Failure to comply with these conditions may be a ground for health, conduct or performance action against the registrant.
Review of conditions
The review period for these conditions is 6 months.
On 18 April 2017, the Performance and Professional Standards Panel (the Panel) resolved to reprimand the practitioner.
Baker’s AHPRA registration shows that she currently has no conditions nor undertakings against her name:
This has not always been the case.
In 2012, Baker featured in this blog for vicious emails which she sent to the McCaffery family after their baby daughter, Dana, died from whooping cough in 2009: Kerry Baker: Registered Nurse; AVN Supporter; Vilifier of Grieving Families.
In 2013, Baker featured in this blog again, after she was reprimanded by AHPRA for her emails, as well as her anti-vaccination activism: Anti-vaccine nurses take note. You are on notice. These are the undertakings with which Baker had to comply to maintain her registration, in 2013:
I, Kerry Jane Baker of QLD offer the following undertaking to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the Board),
1) Within three (3) months of the acceptance of the undertaking, I will nominate to the Board (or its delegate) for approval, in writing, an education program (“the course”) addressing professional boundaries in the context of the scope of practice for registered nurses. In particular the course will cover all aspects of;a. The Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia.b. The Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia.
2) Within twelve (12) months of the acceptance of the undertaking, I will satisfactorily complete the course and provide written evidence to the Board (or its delegate) of such satisfactory completion.
3) I authorise the Board (or its representative) and their approved educator to exchange information at such time or times as the Board (or its representative) shall determine for the purposes of monitoring compliance with these conditions.
4) Within 7 (seven) days of changing address, I will notify the Board in writing of that change.
I understand that this undertaking will remain in existence for 12 months commencing from the date it is accepted by the Board.
I also understand and acknowledge that if the Board accepts this offer, a failure to comply with the undertaking may result in health, performance or conduct action pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (Qld).
Unfortunately, Baker has not ceased her anti-vaccination activism since 2013.
Baker is still a member of these anti-vaccination Facebook groups:
On January 16 2016, in Vaccine Choice Australia, Baker revisited her earlier transgressions against the McCaffery family when agreeing with with hideous comments made about the parents of deceased baby, Riley Hughes, by Rixta Francis
The following are examples of other anti-vaccination activism, from Baker, in various groups.
Vaccine Choice Australia (formerly Vaccine Free Australia)
On February 19 2016, Baker lied about plans to forcibly remove children from anti-vaccination parents:
On February 7 2016, Baker advised the mother of a child suffering from school sores to use colloidal silver, instead of consulting a doctor:
On December 3 2015, Baker promoted homeoprophylaxis as an alternative to immunisation:
On December 3 2015, Baker repeated the false claims that vaccines are a cause of autism:
On November 18 2015, Baker claimed that reports of whooping cough in the community were untrue:
On November 13 2015, Baker advised a member of the group to try essential oils in the treatment of Bell’s palsy:
On November 12 and 13 2015, Baker falsely linked rates of autism to immunisation status, in her local community:
On November 5 2015, Baker linked vaccines to a rise in cases of autism, as well as chemtrails:
On October 26 and 27 2015, Baker defended the discredited of work of deregistered doctor, Andrew Wakefield, claiming that Wakefield found measles virus in the gut of autistic children. Wakefield was later found to have altered pathology to lie about these positive results:
On October 19 2015, Baker misleadingly cited the Cochrane Collaboration’s meta-analysis on influenza immunisation, in a ploy to discredit the rest of the childhood immunisation schedule:
On September 25 2015, Baker discussed her workplace immunisation requirements, and ways in which a registered nurse can avoid having more immunisations:
On September 18 2015, Baker stated that as a healthcare worker she can communicate the dangers of immunisation and her antivax beliefs to her patients with a “smile and nod technique”:
On August 17 2015, agreeing with rabid anti-vaccine science-denialist Rixta Francis, Baker dismissed the theory of herd immunity:
On August 7 2015, Baker claimed that the influenza immunisation causes influenza:
On July 26 2015, Baker claimed that vaccines can cause a baby to become cross-eyed:
On July 25 2015, Baker claimed that vaccines cause autism:
On July 24 2015, Baker advised the use of Vitamin C in the treatment of possible whooping cough, so much so that children should develop explosive diarrhoea:
On July 10 2015, Baker posted that she believes to have seen mosquito-sized spy-drones – which can implant RFID tracking devices – in her backyard:
On June 27 2015, Baker provided misleading information about the ability of the acellular whooping cough vaccine to shed live bacteria from recently immunised contacts:
On March 7 2015, Baker attacked a family who had immunised their baby. The baby had been hospitalised. There was no causality established between the immunisation and the illness. The family had been set upon by anti-vaccinationists:
Unvaccinated Australia group
On October 29 2015, Baker stated that she is well aware of evidence-based information such as that provided through the Cochrane Collaboration, being taught to use it whilst studying:
Tamborine Mountain Community group
Baker is a member of this Facebook group:
On April 21 2016, a Tamborine Mountain local doctor posted about the availability of influenza immunisation:
The following posts are in no particular order, yet all come from the same thread.
Baker posted misinformation about whooping cough and the whooping cough vaccine:
Baker shared this lie about the flu vaccine:
Baker falsely claimed that the influenza vaccine can give a patient influenza:
Baker shared more anti-vaccination scare claims:
Baker shared misinformation about vaccines becoming mandatory:
On November 24 2015, Baker posted this misinformation about the whooping cough vaccine and the treatment of whooping cough with Vitamin C:
The following addenda contain excerpts from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s competency standards, codes, guidelines, and social media policy from which readers may wish to choose when lodging any complaint regarding the activism of Kerry Baker.
Thanks for reading.
Relates to the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities which require demonstration of a satisfactory knowledge base, accountability for practice, functioning in accordance with legislation affecting nursing and health care, and the protection of individual and group rights.
1 Practises in accordance with legislation affecting nursing practice and health care
1.1 Complies with relevant legislation and common law
1.2 Fulfils the duty of care
1.3 Recognises and responds appropriately to unsafe or unprofessional practice
2 Practises within a professional and ethical nursing framework
2.1 Practises in accordance with the nursing profession’s codes of ethics and conduct
2.2 Integrates organisational policies and guidelines with professional standards
2.3 Practises in a way that acknowledges the dignity, culture, values, beliefs and rights of individuals/groups
2.4 Advocates for individuals/groups and their rights for nursing and health care within organisational and management structures
2.5 Understands and practises within own scope of practice
2.6 Integrates nursing and health care knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide safe and effective nursing care
2.7 Recognises the differences in accountability and responsibility between registered nurses, enrolled nurses and unlicensed care workers
Critical thinking and analysis
Relates to self-appraisal, professional development and the value of evidence and research for practice. Reflecting on practice, feelings and beliefs and the consequences of these for individuals/ groups is an important professional bench- mark.
3 Practises within an evidence-based framework
3.1 Identifies the relevance of research to improving individual/group health outcomes
3.2 Uses best available evidence, nursing expertise and respect for the values and beliefs of individuals/groups in the provision of nursing care
3.3 Demonstrates analytical skills in accessing and evaluating health information and research evidence
3.4 Supports and contributes to nursing and health care research
3.5 Participates in quality improvement activities
4 Participates in ongoing professional development of self and others
4.1 Uses best available evidence, standards and guidelines to evaluate nursing performance:
4.2 Participates in professional development to enhance nursing practice
4.3 Contributes to the professional development of others
4.4 Uses appropriate strategies to manage own responses to the professional work environment
Provision and coordination of care
Relates to the coordination, organisation and provision of nursing care that includes the assessment of individuals/ groups, planning, implementation and evaluation of care.
5 Conducts a comprehensive and systematic nursing assessment
5.1 Uses a relevant evidence-based assessment framework to collect data about the physical socio-cultural and mental health of the individual/group
5.2 Uses a range of assessment techniques to collect relevant and accurate data
5.3 Analyses and interprets assessment data accurately
6 Plans nursing care in consultation with individuals/groups, significant others and the interdisciplinary health care team
6.1 Determines agreed priorities for resolving health needs of individuals/groups:
6.2 Identifies expected and agreed individual/group health outcomes including a time frame for achievement
6.3 Documents a plan of care to achieve expected outcomes
6.4 Plans for continuity of care to achieve expected outcomes
7 Provides comprehensive, safe and effective evidence-based nursing care to achieve identified individual/group health outcomes
7.1 Effectively manages the nursing care of individuals/groups
7.2 Provides nursing care according to the documented care or treatment plan
7.3 Prioritises workload based on the individual/group’s needs, acuity and optimal time for intervention
7.4 Responds effectively to unexpected or rapidly changing situations
7.5 Delegates aspects of care to others according to their competence and scope of practice
7.6 Provides effective and timely direction and supervision to ensure that delegated care is provided safely and accurately
7.7 Educates individuals/groups to promote independence and control over their health
8 Evaluates progress towards expected individual/group health outcomes in consultation with individuals/groups, significant others and interdisciplinary health care team
8.1 Determines progress of individuals/groups toward planned outcomes
8.2 Revises the plan of care and determines further outcomes in accordance with evaluation data
Collaborative and therapeutic practice
Relates to establishing, sustaining and concluding professional relationships with individuals/groups. This also contains those competencies that relate to nurses understanding their contribution to the interdisciplinary health care team.
9 Establishes, maintains and appropriately concludes therapeutic relationships
9.1 Establishes therapeutic relationships that are goal directed and recognises professional boundaries
9.2 Communicates effectively with individuals/groups to facilitate provision of care
9.3 Uses appropriate strategies to promote an individual’s/group’s self-esteem, dignity, integrity and
9.4 Assists and supports individuals/groups to make informed health care decisions
9.5 Facilitates a physical, psychosocial, cultural and spiritual environment that promotes individual/group safety and security
10 Collaborates with the interdisciplinary health care team to provide comprehensive nursing care
10.1 Recognises that the membership and roles of health care teams and service providers will vary depending on an individual’s/group’s needs and health care setting
10.2 Communicates nursing assessments and decisions to the interdisciplinary health care team and other relevant service providers
10.3 Facilitates coordination of care to achieve agreed health outcomes
10.4 Collaborates with the health care team to inform policy and guideline development
Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia
1 Nurses practise in a safe and competent manner.
2 Nurses practise in accordance with the standards of the profession and broader health system.
Conduct Statement 2
Nurses practise in accordance with the standards of the profession and broader health system
1 Nurses are responsible for ensuring the standard of their practice conforms to professional standards developed and agreed by the profession, with the object of enhancing the safety of people in their care as well as their partners, family members and other members of the person’s nominated network. This responsibility also applies to the nurses’ colleagues.
2 Nurses practise in accordance with wider standards relating to safety and quality in health care and accountability for a safe health system, such as those relating to health documentation and information management, incident reporting and participation in adverse event analysis and formal open disclosure procedures.
3 Nurses practise and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of nursing.
Conduct Statement 3
Nurses practise and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of nursing
1 Nurses are familiar with relevant laws and ensure they do not engage in clinical or other practices prohibited by such laws or delegate to others activities prohibited by those laws.
2 Nurses witnessing the unlawful conduct of colleagues and other co-workers, whether in clinical, management, education or research areas of practice, have both a responsibility and an obligation to report such conduct to an appropriate authority and take other appropriate action as necessary to safeguard people and the public interest.
4 Nurses respect the dignity, culture, ethnicity, values and beliefs of people receiving care and treatment, and of their colleagues.
5 Nurses treat personal information obtained in a professional capacity as private and confidential.
6 Nurses provide impartial, honest and accurate information in relation to nursing care and health care products.
Conduct Statement 6
Nurses provide impartial, honest and accurate information in relation to nursing care and health care products
1 When nurses provide advice about any care or product, they fully explain the advantages and disadvantages of alternative care or products so individuals can make informed choices. Nurses refrain from engaging in exploitation, misinformation or misrepresentation with regard to health care products and nursing care.
2 Nurses accurately represent the nature of their services or the care they intend to provide.
3 Where a specific care or a specific product is advised, nurses ensure their advice is based on adequate knowledge and not on commercial or other forms of gain. Deceptive endorsement of products or services or receipt of remuneration for products or services primarily for personal gain, other than remuneration in the course of a proper commercial relationship, is improper.
7 Nurses support the health, wellbeing and informed decision-making of people requiring or receiving care.
8 Nurses promote and preserve the trust and privilege inherent in the relationship between nurses and people receiving care.
Conduct Statement 8
Nurses promote and preserve the trust and privilege inherent in the relationship between nurses and people receiving care
1 An inherent power imbalance exists within the relationship between people receiving care and nurses that may make the persons in their care vulnerable and open to exploitation. Nurses actively preserve the dignity of people through practised kindness and respect for the vulnerability and powerlessness of people in their care. Significant vulnerability and powerlessness can arise from the experience of illness and the need to engage with the health care system. The power relativities between a person and a nurse can be significant, particularly where the person has limited knowledge; experiences pain and illness; needs assistance with personal care; belongs to a marginalised group; or experiences an unfamiliar loss of self-determination. This vulnerability creates a power differential in the relationship between nurses and persons in their care that must be recognised and managed.
4 Nurses fulfil roles outside the professional role, including those as family members, friends and community members. Nurses are aware that dual relationships may compromise care outcomes and always conduct professional relationships with the primary intent of benefit for the person receiving care. Nurses take care when giving professional advice to people with whom they have a dual relationship (e.g. a family member or friend) and advise them to seek independent advice due to the existence of actual or potential conflicts of interest.
9 Nurses maintain and build on the community’s trust and confidence in the nursing profession.
Conduct Statement 9
Nurses maintain and build on the community’s trust and confidence in the nursing profession
1 The conduct of nurses maintains and builds public trust and confidence in the profession at all times.
2 The unlawful and unethical actions of nurses in their personal lives risk adversely affecting both their own and the profession’s good reputation and standing in the eyes of the public. If the good standing of either individual nurses or the profession were to diminish, this might jeopardise the inherent trust between the nursing profession and the public necessary for effective therapeutic relationships and the effective delivery of nursing care.
3 Nurses consider the ethical interests of the nursing profession and the community when exercising their right to freedom of speech and participating in public, political and academic debate, including publication.
10 Nurses practise nursing reflectively and ethically.
Conduct Statement 10
Nurses practise nursing reflectively and ethically
1 Nurses practise nursing reflectively and ethically, in accordance with the Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia, in order to learn from experience and contribute to personal and professional practice.
2 Nurses develop and maintain appropriate and current quality nursing advice, support and care for each person requiring and receiving care and their partners, families and other members of their nominated social network. This responsibility also applies to colleagues of nurses.
3 Nurses evaluate their conduct and competency according to the standards of the nursing profession.
4 Nurses contribute to the professional development of students and colleagues.
5 Nurses participating in research do so in accordance with recognised research guidelines and do not violate their duty of care to persons receiving nursing care.
6 Nurses advise employers and any persons in their care of any reduction in their capacity to practise due to health, social or other factors, while they seek ways of redressing the problem.
Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia
1 Nurses value quality nursing care for all people.
2 Nurses value respect and kindness for self and others.
3 Nurses value the diversity of people.
4 Nurses value access to quality nursing and health care for all people.
5 Nurses value informed decision-making.
Value Statement 5
Nurses value informed decision-making
Nurses value people’s interests in making free and informed decisions. This includes people having the opportunity to verify the meaning and implication of information being given to them when making decisions about their nursing and health care. Nurses also recognise that making decisions is sometimes constrained by circumstances beyond individual control and that there may be circumstances where informed decision making cannot always be fully realised.
1 Self: Nurses make informed decisions in relation to their practice within the constraints of their professional role and in accordance with ethical and legal requirements. Nurses are entitled to do this without undue pressure or coercion of any kind. Nurses are responsible for ensuring their decision-making is based on contemporary, relevant and well-founded knowledge and information.
2 Person (health consumer): Nurses value the legal and moral right of people, including children, to participate whenever possible in decision-making concerning their nursing and health care and treatment, and assist them to determine their care on the basis of informed decision making. This may involve ensuring people who do not speak English have access to a qualified health interpreter. Nurses recognise and respect the rights of people to engage in shared decision-making when consenting to care and treatment. Nurses also value the contribution made by persons whose decision-making may be restricted because of incapacity, disability or other factors, including legal constraints. Nurses are knowledgeable about such circumstances and in facilitating the role of family members, partners, friends and others in contributing to decision-making processes.
3 Colleagues: Nurses respect the rights of colleagues and members of other disciplines to participate in informed decision-making. Making these collaborative and informed decisions includes involving the person requiring or receiving nursing care (or their representative) in decisions relating to their nursing or health care, without being subject to coercion of any kind.
4 Community: Nurses value the contribution made by the community to nursing and health care decision-making through a range of activities, including consumer groups, advocacy and membership of health-related committees. Nurses also assist in keeping the community accurately informed on nursing and health-related issues.
6 Nurses value a culture of safety in nursing and health care.
Value Statement 6
Nurses value a culture of safety in nursing and health care
Valuing a culture of safety involves nurses actively engaging in the development of shared knowledge and understanding of the crucial importance of safety in contemporary health care. Nurses who value a culture of safety appreciate that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Nurses support the development of risk management processes and a practice environment designed to reduce the incidence and impact of preventable adverse events in health care. Nurses also support the open disclosure of any adverse events to any person affected during the course of their care.
1 Self: Nurses value safe practice and a safe working environment; practise within the limitations of their knowledge and skills; and recognise and avoid situations where their ability to deliver quality care may be impaired. Nurses have a moral and legal right to practise in a safe environment, without fear for their own safety or that of others, and they seek remedies through accepted channels, including legal action, when this is not the case. Nurses value the maintenance of competence in contributing to a safe care and practice environment.
2 Person (health consumer): Nurses recognise that people are vulnerable to injuries and illnesses as a result of preventable human error and adverse events while in health care settings. Nurses play a key role in the detection and prevention of errors and adverse events in health care settings, and support and participate in systems to identify circumstances where people are at risk of harm. Nurses act to prevent or control such risks through prevention, monitoring, early identification and early management of adverse events. Nurses contribute to the confidential reporting of adverse events and errors, and to organisational processes for the open disclosure of these events to persons affected during the course of their care.
3 Colleagues: Nurses work with their colleagues to create a culture of safety. Nurses support the development of safer health care systems through non-punitive human error, adverse event management and related education. Nurses value the critical relationship between consumer safety and interprofessional competencies, including trustful communication, teamwork and situation awareness. Nurses view the detection of their own errors and risks or those of their colleagues as opportunities for achieving a safer health care system.
4 Community: Nurses, acting through their professional and industrial organisations and other appropriate authorities, participate in developing and improving the safety and quality of health care services for all people. This includes actively promoting the provision of equitable, just and culturally and socially responsive health care services for all people living, or seeking residence or asylum, in Australia. It also involves raising public awareness about the nature and importance of consumer safety programs in health care services.
7 Nurses value ethical management of information.
8 Nurses value a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable environment promoting health and wellbeing.
When using social media, health practitioners should remember that the National Law, their National Board’s code of ethics and professional conduct (the Code of conduct) and the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services (the Advertising guidelines) apply.
Registered health practitioners should only post information that is not in breach of these obligations by:
- complying with professional obligations
- complying with confidentiality and privacy obligations (such as by not discussing patients or posting pictures of procedures, case studies, patients, or sensitive material which may enable patients to be identified without having obtained consent in appropriate situations)
- presenting information in an unbiased, evidence-based context, and
- not making unsubstantiated claims.
Additional information may be available from professional bodies and/or employers, which aims to support health practitioners’ use of social media. However, the legal, ethical, and professional obligations that registered health practitioners must adhere to are set out in the National Boards’ respective Code of conduct and the Advertising guidelines.