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Governing boards

Changes to the governance of SA Health

The State Government is reforming SA Health’s governance arrangements and has introduced amending legislation into Parliament to establish Local Health Network (LHN) Governing Boards.

There will be one Statewide, three Metropolitan and six Regional LHNs and Governing Boards.

Devolving decision making and responsibility to the local level involves significant planning and consideration of how the public health system will work as a whole. This requires detailed consideration of functions, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities across SA Health.

Under these reforms, the Department for Health and Wellbeing will continue to have responsibility for the overall management and strategic direction of the South Australian health system.

These reforms will take a staged approach, with the most significant changes to take place from 1 July 2019 when the new Governing Boards become fully operational.

This webpage will be updated as more information becomes available.

Please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below. Comments and questions can be emailed to HealthGoverningBoards@sa.gov.au

LHN Governing Board Chairs Expression of Interest

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are being sought for Chairs of the ten new Statewide, Metropolitan and Regional Governing Boards. Deadline for EOI submissions is 5pm Friday 29 June 2018.

The positions commence from 31 July 2018, serving initially in an advisory capacity during the transitioning period until the Governing Boards become fully operational.

These will be positions of strategic leadership and responsibility, presenting an exciting opportunity for experienced leaders to engage with and guide LHN decision making.

How to apply

Please submit EOI submission to Hardy Group Search Coordinator, Kaavya Karunanithi: 

Telephone: +61 (0)2 9900 0104
Email: knithi@hardygroupintl.com

For more information, visit: www.hardygroupintl.com

Governance Reforms Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

While it is early days and many details still need to be worked through, below is some preliminary information. These FAQs will be updated as more information becomes available.

What changes has the State Government announced and how long will the reforms take to implement?

‘Engaging Communities and Clinicians for Better Health’ was one of the State Government’s 2018 election commitments. It includes:

  • devolving the public health system through the establishment of Statewide, Metropolitan and Regional LHN Governing Boards;
  • putting real responsibility and accountability at the local level, with strengthened oversight;
  • improving patient safety and holding Governing Boards accountable for delivering real progress.

Devolving decision making and responsibility to the local level involves significant planning and consideration of how the public health system will work as a whole. This requires detailed consideration of functions, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities across SA Health. The main part of this work will be undertaken over the next 12 months in the lead up to 1 July 2019 when the Governing Boards become fully operational.

Why are changes being made to the governance of SA Health?

Currently, the governance of SA Health is concentrated centrally. Authority and accountability resides with the Chief Executive of SA Health.

Establishing Metropolitan and Regional LHN Governing Boards provides an exciting opportunity for SA Health to devolve decision making and responsibility to the local level. This will help LHNs to be more responsive and innovative in meeting the health needs of their communities.

What are the benefits for patients, consumers and staff?

There will be improved patient safety and quality of services through better accountability and transparency.

SA Health can deliver better health outcomes for patients and be more responsive to the needs of local communities when decisions are made as close as possible to the area and the people affected, through proper engagement with local staff and clinicians. Giving more authority at a local level empowers SA Health staff with real decision making powers about the services they provide to their patients.

How many LHNs and Governing Boards will there be?

There will be 10 LHNs, each with their own Governing Board. There will be one Statewide, three Metropolitan and six Regional LHNs.

The Statewide LHN will be the Women’s and Children’s Health Network. The three Metropolitan LHNs include Central Adelaide LHN, Southern Adelaide LHN and Northern Adelaide LHN. The six Regional LHNs will be established using the same boundaries as the current Country Health SA regions. Country Health SA LHN will remain until 30 June 2019, and then from 1 July 2019, the six regional LHNs and their Governing Boards will become fully operational.

When will the LHN Governing Boards be operational and what responsibilities will they have?

LHNs will start working with their Board Chairs and members as they are appointed, and the Boards will become fully operational on 1 July 2019. From 1 July 2019, each Governing Board will be accountable to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing for the delivery of health services within its areas and will have responsibility for:

  • safe, high-quality and accessible services;
  • being reflective of local values, needs and priorities; and
  • being sustainable within the resources available.

Each Governing Board will:

  • appoint its LHN’s Chief Executive Officer after consultation with the CE SA Health;
  • have responsibility for delivering safety and quality in their LHN;
  • oversee the efficient, effective and economic operation of its LHN’s health services and budget to achieve the LHN’s performance targets; and
  • establish strong relationships with local communities and frontline health professionals, particularly through the development of clinical and community engagement strategies.

When and how will Governing Board members be appointed?

Recruitment to Governing Boards will occur in two stages.

The first stage will be an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the 10 Governing Board Chairs. This process will occur during June 2018, with appointments made by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing by 31 July 2018.

The second stage will be an EOI process for members of the 10 Governing Boards, which will occur later in 2018 and in the lead up to the operation of Governing Boards, by 1 July 2019.

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