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Clinical governance is the term used to describe a systematic approach to maintaining and improving the quality of patient care within a health system. It is about the ability to produce effective change so that high quality care is achieved. It requires clinicians and administrators to take joint responsibility for making sure this occurs.

When clinical governance is effective, it has the potential to:

  • make positive changes you want to see happen;
  • improve the quality of care for patients; and
  • provide a better experience for staff.

Clinical Specialist and Advisor Roles within the Centre for Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAOD)

Director of Clinical Services and Programs

The role of the Director of Clinical Services and Programs is to:

  • Provide leadership and drive performance of the AOD Clinical Services and Programs Unit to deliver results that support NSW Health AOD strategies and policies and the effective delivery of treatment, harm minimisation and prevention programs and services.
  • Provide high quality strategic advice and recommendations to promote evidence-based, person-centred, safe, high-quality and effective practice.
  • Ensure effective program governance, management and evaluation frameworks are in place to support implementation, measurement of results, and achievement of defined outcomes.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to ensure that the CAOD delivers a holistic, integrated, and health system level response to AOD issues in NSW, which promotes and strengthens the use of data and evidence to inform and strengthen practice.

Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist (CAMS)

The primary purpose of the CAMS is to:

  • Provide clinical leadership to the NSW Health response to Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) and to significantly contribute to the development and achievement of NSW Health's AOD related strategic priorities.
  • Provide addiction medicine expert advice and clinical leadership to support the Ministry of Health in the development, implementation, and evaluation of AOD policies and programs and in responding to AOD related critical incidents and public health threats.
  • Play a significant role in developing and maintaining effective partnerships with key stakeholders including peak research and clinical bodies, the non-government sector and other government agencies, and can be called on to be the NSW Health spokesperson on significant public matters.   

Clinical Advisor

The role of the Clinical Advisor is to:

  • Provide clinical leadership for strategic and operational projects to meet organisational objectives.
  • Provide co-ordination and leadership of clinical governance within CAOD.
  • Support development and maintenance of systems to ensure all clinical programs and projects are evidence based and meet the goals of delivering a high level of safety and quality to consumers of AOD services in NSW.
  • Collaborate with CAOD executive, the medical advisor, and staff, particularly those within the AOD clinical programs and services unit.
  • Represent the CAOD at relevant clinical meetings, across jurisdictions, the ministry of health and the AOD sector to ensure the needs of all vulnerable population groups are addressed in clinical policy, guidelines, and programs to achieve equitable outcomes in care in NSW.

Medical Advisor

The role of the Medical Advisor is to:

  • Provide high-level medical expertise and leadership to ensure a data-driven and evidence-based approach to public and population health with a focus on Centre for Alcohol and Other Drugs priority portfolio areas, including alcohol and other drug service delivery, policy, and program responses.
  • Provide medical advice and technical expertise to support the chief health officer in managing critical incidents and other issues of public health concern.
  • Provide medical and toxicology inputs and engage stakeholders to support music festival harm reduction, toxicity response, epidemiology, and surveillance.
  • Collaborate with CAOD executive, the clinical advisor and CAOD staff.
  • Represent the CAOD at relevant clinical meetings, across jurisdictions, the ministry of health and the AOD sector.

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Clinical governance programs and services

Alcohol and Other Drugs has several clinical governance programs, services and initiatives that address quality and safety issues, risk management, continuous improvement, workforce development and work with key stakeholders at committee level.

Clinical Quality Committee (CQC)

The internal CAOD Clinical Quality Committee (CQC) includes the CAOD Clinical Services and Programs Director, Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist, Medical Advisor and Clinical Advisor. The CQC is committed to working collaboratively with CAOD teams to support the delivery of high-quality, best-practice and clinically relevant work. The CQC has developed clinical governance processes to ensure appropriate pathways for the CAOD to access timely, efficient, and supportive clinical consultation and advice.

To manage clinical and corporate risk, the CQC is committed to ongoing regular review of clinical evidence and best practice to ensure the continuous provision of clinically relevant, best practice advice to inform CAOD activities. CQC advice and recommendations will be aligned to CAOD strategic objectives and reflect the diversity of clinical services and operations provided by NSW Health funded AOD treatment service sector.

Quality in Treatment Sub-Committee (QIT)

The QIT Sub-Committee reports to the NSW Health Drug and Alcohol Program Council on matters relating to improvements in clinical practice and quality of care. It comprises senior clinicians from the LHDs with representation from non-government organisations, nursing, and allied health professionals.

Aboriginal Corporation Drug and Alcohol Network (ACDAN)

The Aboriginal Corporation Drug and Alcohol Network (ACDAN) is a member-based organisation led by a Board of Directors, who represent separate, but inter-connected organisations across the Alcohol and Other Drugs sector.

The Drug and Alcohol Clinical Program is working with Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol leaders in NSW through the establishment of the Aboriginal Corporation Drug and Alcohol Network (ACDAN). The ACDAN Leadership Group meets regularly to discuss the development and delivery of Aboriginal drug and alcohol services in NSW. The ACDAN holds an annual symposium. This project is run in partnership with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC).

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CAOD involvement in wider Ministry of Health Clinical Governance Committees

Serious Incident Review (SIR) Sub-Committee

The purpose of the SIR Sub-Committee is to undertake responsibility for monitoring, analysing, and reporting on clinical patient safety issues that have state- wide implications; and to promote systems improvements in Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services.

Opioid Pharmacotherapy Sub-Committee  

The Opioid Pharmacotherapy Subcommittee (OPS) is appointed as a Subcommittee of the Medical Committee established under section 30A of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966. The OPS is responsible for making recommendations to the Secretary on the suitability of medical and nurse practitioners to be approved as prescribers of drugs of addiction, advising the Secretary on any matters on approvals and authority applications made under section 29(2) of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966.

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Current as at: Thursday 7 December 2023