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SDHB Steps Up Focus on Clinical Governance

Tuesday 27 November 2007 “Quality and Humanity in Health”

SDHB Steps Up Focus on Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety

Southland District Health Board is stepping up its focus on clinical governance, quality and safety with a staff consultation taking place about its existing arrangements, Chairman Dennis Cairns said.

“Clinical governance will be a key focus for the Board over the next year," Mr Cairns said.

"Internationally, it is recognised that in any complex system, there is always the capacity for unintended error. Health is no exception with clinical practice fraught with potential for error through many varied and complex factors which can dramatically impact on patient safety."

"Clinical governance is about putting in place robust systems and processes to limit the opportunities for things to go wrong and to identify risks early in order to correct them."

"As a Board, we wanted to understand how our current clinical governance arrangements compared to recommended best practice and to identify whether improvements could be made to ensure a safe and professional clinical environment across all services."

Mr Cairns said that the Board had commissioned a review of clinical governance arrangements during August 2007. Undertaken by an external party, the review report was discussed at the Board's November meeting where it was resolved to consult on the recommendations with the 1400 staff.

"This report gives us the opportunity to engage together with staff on the findings and how best we can enhance our systems and processes to support a robust clinical governance culture.

"We have a responsibility to ensure quality and safety of services being delivered to our community - we also have a responsibility to ensure our staff are practising in a safe environment."

Mr Cairns said that enquiries including the more recent Capital and Coast DHB Health and Disability Commission report highlighted why clinical governance and continuous review of quality processes was so important.

The Board is expected to discuss staff consultation feedback at its February meeting next year.


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