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Clinicians taking the lead

Clinicians will be front and centre in ensuring all Australians have access to high quality, coordinated healthcare as a result of the government’s National Health Reforms.

Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals are being called on to provide input into clinical leadership structures with the proposed model of Lead Clinicians Groups released for final consultation.

Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said that strong clinical leadership and engagement is fundamental to the government’s National Health Reforms.

“Lead Clinicians Groups will help to drive the delivery of the right care, at the right time, in the right location, and by the right provider,” Roxon said.

“We want health professionals to have a key role in the delivery of health care in their local community.”

At the local level, Lead Clinicians Groups will advise their Local Hospital Network and Medicare Local on how the patient journey can be enhanced and how local health services can best meet the needs of the local community.

“Better engagement of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals will deliver better outcomes for patients and that’s our focus.

“These groups will improve communication between health care managers and their clinical colleagues, and ultimately deliver better coordination of patient care between hospitals, primary care and other settings such as aged care.”

The Commonwealth Position Paper on Lead Clinicians Groups outlines key objectives, roles, responsibilities and membership of National and Local Lead Clinicians Groups.

Local Lead Clinician Groups will build on existing clinical networks in states and territories and it is expected that the National Lead Clinicians Groups will advise the federal government on national priorities and strategies to improve patient care.

The first set of Local Lead Clinicians Groups and a National Lead Clinicians Group are expected to be phased in from July 2011, with the remaining groups commencing operations from July 2012.

“The proposed model is the a result of an extensive consultation process that included discussions with clinicians and representative bodies; bilateral discussions with all state and territory governments; and a discussion paper which generated more than sixty submissions” Roxon said.

The Commonwealth Position Paper on Lead Clinician Groups can be found at www.yourhealth.gov.au

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