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OFFICIAL 
 

1 
       OFFICIAL  Version 1.1 July 2020 

Information for members of committees 
authorised under Part 7, Section 64 of the SA 
Health Care Act (2008)  
New Committee members must complete the Agreement form for 
committee members prior to attending the Part 7 Committee 
(Attachment one). 
This information is also applicable to invited experts who must 
complete the Agreement form for experts invited to a Part 7 committee 
prior to attending a Part 7 Committee meeting (Attachment two). 
In health care, quality improvement refers to activities and programs intended to 
improve the quality of care in a health service. 
The underlying aim of quality improvement legislation is to encourage clinicians, 
managers and others to communicate openly and honestly in assessing the 
management, processes and outcomes of health services. 
What is quality improvement? 
Quality improvement is a continuous cycle of evaluating care and services. An 
authorised quality improvement activity as described in the Health Care Act 2008 
(the Act) involves: 

o Assessing or evaluating the quality of services provided by a health 
service; 

o Making recommendations about the provision of services provided by 
health services; 

o Monitoring the implementation of any recommendations or other 
initiatives that are relevant to improving the quality of services provided 
by the health service. 

(Part 7 S64 (2) of the Act). 
Quality improvement does not involve: 

o Apportioning blame, taking disciplinary action or punishing; 
o Assessing competence; 
o Making decisions or arrangements about a person s employment.  

Alternative processes should be followed to manage these matters. 
The effect of authorisation under Part 7 of the Act: 
This Part of the Act provides for the authorisation of a person or persons involved in 
activities associated with undertaking or making assessments, evaluations or 
recommendations with respect to the practices, procedures, systems, structures or 
processes of a health service  
(a) where the purpose of any such activity is wholly or predominantly to 

improve the quality and safety of health services; and 
(b) where the public disclosure of, or public access to, information is restricted 

in order to achieve the best possible outcomes associated with the 
improvement of health services. 

(Part 7 s63 (2) of the Act). 
A committee authorised under Part 7, s64 of the Act can only conduct activities 
for which the authorisation is provided.  



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       OFFICIAL  Version 1.1 July 2020 

Why is statutory protection of confidential information 
important for quality improvement activities? 
Part 7 Section 63 (1) of the Act defines confidential information as:  
information relating to a health service in which the identity of a patient or person 
providing the service is revealed  

Some people may be discouraged from participating in quality improvement 
activities because of concerns that: 

o Information generated by these activities may be used in litigation; 
o They may be embarrassed if information generated by the activities was 

disclosed; 
o Legal action may be taken against them for participating in the 

assessment and evaluation of services provided by others. 
Part 7 of the Act protects the confidentiality of some information generated by 
certain quality improvement activities.  
The statutory protection of confidential information for authorised quality 
improvement activities is designed to encourage health practitioners to participate 
in the activity by providing for: 

o Access to confidential information that could identify the patient or 
service provider without breach of the law or professional ethics; 

o The protection of that information from being divulged outside of Part 7 
committee processes, including in legal proceedings. 

 
Membership responsibilities regarding confidential information 
Only Part 7 Committee members can view confidential information.  
Confidential information is protected by Part 7 committee authorisation and cannot 
be viewed by anyone who is not a committee member.  
Information relating to Part 7 Committee activities must be de-identified prior to 
circulation outside of the committee or included in any reports.  
Information discovered during Part 7 Committee activities cannot be used for 
conducting performance reviews of individual committee members [Section 64(7)]. 
Part 7 of the Act takes precedence over all other legislation and Part 7 committees 
cannot disclose any information of the conduct of individual health practitioners or 
undertake any reviews relating to individual health practitioners. 

 
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South 
Australia) Act 2010  
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) Act 2010 states 
that members of quality assurance committees cannot disclose information 
because Part 7 of the Health Care Act prohibits such disclosure.     
For further details refer to in Schedule 2, Part 8, Division 2 of this legislation.  

  



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       OFFICIAL  Version 1.1 July 2020 

Part 8 of the Act 
Part 8 of the Act refers to the analysis of adverse incidents. 
A person who is a member of an authorised quality improvement committee may 
receive a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) report from a RCA team appointed under 
Part 8 of the Act containing: 

? A description of the adverse incident; 
? A flow diagram; 
? A cause and effect diagram; 
? A causation statement; 
? The recommendations of the RCA team; 
? The working documents associated with the RCA team s investigation and 

processes; 
? Any other material considered relevant by the RCA team. 

Members of the authorised quality improvement body receiving the above 
RCA report must abide by the protection of information provisions as detailed 
in Part 8   Analysis of Adverse incidents s73 (2) of the Act. 
Part 7 Committee members  

? Should note that the RCA team is responsible for the approval of their 
RCA report 

? Should not unduly influence the outcome of RCA investigations    
? Should not unduly delay the completion of RCA investigations    

Further information can be obtained from SA Health's RCA webpage  
 

  



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       OFFICIAL  Version 1.1 July 2020 

Protection of Information 
Committee members or persons assisting the committee are required to comply with 
Part 7, s66 of the Act as detailed below: 
(1) This section applies to 

(a) a person who is, or has been, an authorised person; or 

(b) a person 

(i) who provides, or has provided, technical, administrative or secretarial 
assistance to an authorised person or in connection with an authorised 
activity; or 

(ii) who receives or gathers information on behalf of an 
authorised person in connection with an authorised activity. 

(2) A person to whom this section applies must not  

(a) make a record of information gained as a result of, or in connection with, 
an authorised activity; or 

(b) make use of or disclose information gained as a result of, or in 
connection with, an authorised activity, 

except  

(c) to the extent necessary for the proper performance of the authorised activity; 
or 

(d) in pursuance of any reporting requirements of a prescribed kind to a 
governing body of an entity; or 

(e) as part of making a disclosure to another authorised person; or 

(f) to the extent allowed by the regulations. Maximum penalty: $60, 000. 

 

(3) Without limiting subsection (2), a person to whom this section applies cannot 
be required  

(a) to produce to a court, agency or other body any document that has been 
brought into existence for the purposes of an authorised activity; or 

(b) to disclose to a court, agency or other body any information that has 
become known for the purposes of an authorised activity. 

 

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to any information or document that 
does not identify, either expressly or by implication, a particular person or 
particular persons. 

. 

(5) This section does not prohibit a disclosure of information if the person, or 
each of the persons, who would be directly or indirectly identified by the 
disclosure consents to that disclosure of the information. 

The Act can be accessed 
at:http://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/HEALTH%20CARE%20ACT%202008.aspx 

 

For further information 
Please refer to SA Health s Part 7 Committee webpage 
or email gabriel.sloan@sa.gov.au and the Safety and Quality Unit at 
HealthSafetyandQuality@sa.gov.au  

 
Department for Health and Wellbeing. Government of South Australia. July  2020. 



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       OFFICIAL  Version 1.1 July 2020 

Attachment one 
 

Agreement form for Part 7 committee members 
 

I                                    .. 
Name  
                                     
Position 
 
have read, understand, acknowledge and accept the obligations outlined in the 
Information for members of committees authorised under Part 7, section 64 of the 

SA Health Care Act (2008) document without exception or condition.  
 
I confirm that I will act in good faith and not divulge information obtained as a 
result of my membership of the 
 
                               ................ 
Committee, other than to those persons authorised by the Act to receive such 
information. By signing this document, I am formally agreeing to contribute as a 
member of the 
 
                                   .. 
Committee.  
 
The Committee is authorised under Section 64 of the Health Care Act (2008) (the 
Act) and I accept my obligations under Part 7 and Part 8 of the Act.  
 

                                   .. 
 [Signed]  [Date] 

 
Name of witness: 
                                     
Position 
                                   .. 
 
                                   .. 

 
 [Signed]  [Date] 
 

  



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       OFFICIAL  Version 1.1 July 2020 

Attachment Two 
 
Agreement form for experts invited to a Part 7 
committee  
I,                                    
Name 
                                    
Position 
 
have read, understand, acknowledge and accept the obligations outlined in the 
Information for members of committees authorised under Part 7, section 64 of the 

SA Health Care Act (2008) document without exception or condition.  
 
I confirm that I will act in good faith and not divulge information obtained as a result 
of my attendance at the 
 
                         .................................... 
Committee, other than to those persons authorised by the Act to receive such 
information. By signing this document, I am formally agreeing to contribute as an 
invited expert of the 
 
    .                                 
Committee.  
 
The Committee is authorised under Section 64 of the Health Care Act (2008 (the 
Act) and I accept my obligations under Part 7 and Part 8 of the Act.  
 

Name of witness: 
                                     
Position 
                                   .. 
 
                                   .. 

 
 [Signed]  [Date] 

 


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