Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

The State Government is committed to establishing a Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health (the Commission), to provide leadership and advice within SA Health and the Government on clinical excellence and innovation.

A key priority of the State Government is to rebalance the health system in South Australia in a way that represents the values of the community, delivers the highest standards of safe and quality care and is economically viable for the future.

The Commission will provide leadership and advice on clinical best practice with a focus on maximising health outcomes for patients, improving care and safety, monitoring performance, championing evidence-based practice and clinical innovation, and supporting clinical collaboration.

In doing this, the Commission will:

  • bring together expertise from clinicians, consumers, health partners and other relevant stakeholders to maximise health outcomes for patients
  • be recognised as a centre for excellence, a strong partner for clinical improvement and innovation and will have recognised expertise which can influence design
  • support the provision of safer, more innovative and efficient healthcare through empowering clinicians and consumers.

Structure of the Commission

The future structure of Department for Health and Wellbeing came into effect on 6 May 2019. This has included the appointment of Professor Paddy Phillips as the Incoming Commissioner, Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health.

The Commission will initially have three branches, and an Office of the Commissioner will support the Commissioner and the branches:

  • Clinical Partnerships
  • Clinical Improvement and Innovation
  • Clinical Informatics. 

Commission will initially have three branches: Clinical Partnerships, Clinical Improvement and Innovation, and Clinical Informatics. An Office of the Commissioner will support the Commissioner and the branches

This structure may evolve once the Commission is established to ensure that the Commission can best assist, and build capacity in, the health system for safer, more innovative and efficient healthcare.

Establishment of the Commission

  • A Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health Steering Committee, reporting to the Governance Reform Program Management Committee, was established to lead a project to design the Commission. The Steering Committee agreed to disband once the majority of the design work was complete and an Incoming Commissioner was appointed.
  • Initial establishment of the Commission has commenced, with an interim arrangement as part of the Department for Health and Wellbeing. Prof Paddy Phillips is the Incoming Commissioner.  Over time, the Commission will become proclaimed as an attached office to the Department.
  • The Clinical Partnerships team has been assigned to the Commission to support progression of its design, proclamation as an attached office and to commence initial operational activities such as establishing the initial cohort of Clinical Networks. 
  • The operational model and design for the Commission is being developed and further information will be released about the implementation tranches and timeframes to reach the Commission’s full establishment

Milestones and indicative timeframes

Milestones and indicative timeframes
Milestone Timeframe
Review of similar interstate and national bodies in Australia and overseas to identify lessons learned by those agencies and apply them to the work of establishing the Commission Completed
Targeted initial consultation workshop Completed
Identify the role of the Commission vs the role of DHW as part of the DHW governance reforms Completed
Initial establishment of Commission as entity within DHW
Appointment of Incoming Commissioner Completed
Launch event of the Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health
Late 2019

These timeframes are indicative only and are subject to change.

Further information

Feedback and questions about the Commission can be emailed to

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