Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

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Allied health leadership in NSW - A study of perceptions and priorities of allied health leaders

Patricia Bradd , Joanne Travaglia , Andrew Hayen

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the opinions and perceptions of senior allied health leaders in relation to allied health leadership, governance and organisation from an Australian public health perspective. The target group was the New South Wales (NSW) Health Allied Health Directors/Advisors, the most senior public allied health professionals in NSW. Methods: The study was conducted over a six month period in 2014-2015 and comprised two parts: 1) data collection through a 46 question on-line survey which sought the views of allied health leaders about the field of allied health in NSW and 2) two confirmatory focus groups with members of the NSW Health Allied Health Directors’ Committee. Results: The on-line questionnaire generated novel information about the field of allied health in the public sector of NSW, including the current organisation, governance, and culture of allied health. Focus group participants explored key findings in greater depth, including the influence and value of allied health to the health system as a whole, as well as the attributes and competencies required by allied health leaders. Conclusion: Results provide new information about Australian allied health leadership, governance, culture and organisation, and highlight potential priorities for future leadership activities. What is known about this topic? Although leadership is considered an essential element in the provision of high quality healthcare, leadership across allied health remains under examined. What does this paper add? There is a paucity of literature pertaining to allied health leadership nationally and internationally. This paper describes the issues influencing allied health leaders and leadership in NSW as reported by senior Allied Health leaders. What are the implications for practice? This study identifies key elements related to allied health leadership and governance. Health systems and services can use this information to implement strategies that enhance allied health leadership capability.

AH16135  Accepted 17 February 2017

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