A Gisborne physiotherapist who lost more than 100 patient files from her practice has been found guilty of misconduct due to the risk to her patients' privacy.

Jane Moore committed the privacy breaches from 2012 to 2015 while working as a physiotherapist for Hauora Tairāwhiti district health board, according to a recent ruling by the NZ Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

She was also found guilty of working as a physiotherapist for just over two weeks in April 2017 while not holding a "current practising certificate", the tribunal found.

Moore's privacy breaches were discovered after a Hauora Tairāwhiti staff member emailed her in 2016, saying the health board was archiving its patients' files but had noticed a number of the physiotherapist's files were missing.

Advertisement

A subsequent October 2016 investigation found 259 of Moore's patient files were missing from her office.

One month later, Moore found 137 patient files "after searching her home" and another four elsewhere and returned these to Hauora Tairāwhiti investigators.

However, this still left 118 patient files missing, the tribunal said.

Of these, 101 were for patients claiming Accident Compensation Corporation payments.

This led the ACC to request in October 2017 that Hauora Tairāwhiti repay it $33,770 in funding for patients treated by Moore.

Hauora Tairāwhiti also sent out a media release in 2017 to advise its patients they may have had their privacy breached.

The tribunal ruled Moore should be censured and pay $26,000 in costs.

She will also need to be "independently supervised by a clinical supervisor" over the next two years, undertake further training and have her clinical record keeping audited at the end of each of the next two years.

Advertisement

The tribunal said it chose to censure rather than suspend Moore because she had co-operated with investigators and because there was no evidence of any incompetence in the treatment she gave patients.