Allied Health Governance in the Private Hospital Sector – A National Program of Organisational Renewal and Regulatory Coordination

Ms Rachel Resuggan1, Dr Rosalie Boyce2,3

1St John Of God Health Care Inc., Osborne Park, Australia, 2Barwon Health – South West Healthcare, Warrnambool, Australia, 3University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

St John of God Health Care (SJGHC) is one of the largest private sector (not-for-profit) health services in Australia and New Zealand operating 24 facilities (3,407 hospital beds) across acute, sub-acute and mental health services, as well as home-based community care, disability services and social outreach programs.

Process, outcome and innovation data from a three-year renewal program to review, analyse, strengthen and reconfigure allied health governance will be presented. The essential leadership task was to reshape allied health from semi-autonomous facilities into a single SJGHC allied health approach through deploying multiple strategies in both series and parallel. The SJGHC Allied Health Governance Project is the largest multi-site allied health renewal project undertaken in Australia to date.

Key components of initiating and shaping the first phase of change included:

  1. SJGHC values to guide the project
  2. Undertaking system-wide comprehensive review
  3. Establishing single point accountability to drive reforms (allied health project manager)
  4. Utilising a research evidence-base to develop frameworks
  5. Establishing a collaborative university-health service partnership to guide, support and challenge thinking
  6. Fostering collaborative networks with peer services to share ideas
  7. Sourcing models from academic/grey literature to adapt to a private-sector context

Successful achievements of the project to date include:

  • Establishing an Allied Health Leadership & Clinical Governance Network as the governing body providing important advisory function
  • Implementing an organisation-wide Allied Health Credentialing and Scope of Practice Policy, alongside implementation of standardised Position Descriptions for AHPs
  • Developing a national standard for mandatory training and Professional Development Pathways
  • Clinical Supervision Guideline
  • Launching a National Clinical Placement System to support allied health students

The presentation concludes with discussion of Next Steps and an evaluation strategy.


Rachel Resuggan is a highly regarded for her extensive expertise in allied health governance and leadership.  Working for St John of God Health Care as the National Project Manager – Allied Health Governance, she is leading the development and delivery of a comprehensive project focused on strengthening allied health leadership and governance structures across the organisation. Rachel thrives on pioneering allied health services and creating strong foundations that provide optimum environments for allied health professionals so that they can deliver excellence in care.  Rachel has led the commissioning and establishment of allied health services for two greenfield hospitals (St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals and Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western Australia). Her passion for allied health governance comes from years of leading allied health services, including the North Metropolitan Area Health Service in Western Australia.

Dr Rosalie Boyce (PhD) is an internationally recognised authority on the management, organisation and leadership of the allied health professions. She has appointments as Regional Allied Health Translation Research Lead (with Dr Olivia King) at Barwon Health / South West Healthcare; the University of Queensland and is Director of Rosalie Boyce Consulting Pty Ltd.

NAHC Conferences

2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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