Development and implementation of a novel dietetics governance structure in a new tertiary facility

Mrs Kylie Clavarino1, Mrs Catherine Beckton1, Miss Katie Benton1, Mrs  Catherine Mc Farlane1, Mrs  Rosemary Sander1, Mrs Sarah  Bloomfield1, Mrs Alison Blundell1, Mrs Gai Moritz1

1Sunshine Coast Hospital And Health Service, Sunshine Coast, Australia

Background: On transition to the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS), Allied Health (AH) was redesigned to a decentralised / dispersement model; where each clinical specialty has a dedicated AH multi-disciplinary team. AH teams are managed operationally by an AH Advanced Clinician, housed within individual specialty services.

Traditional discipline based operational management and centralised departments ceased. Professional governance was provided remotely by HP5 Advanced Clinicians and discipline based Professional Leads, creating separate operational and professional management lines. Six months after implementation, AH Leadership undertook a quality analysis of the current structure. Additionally, dietetics completed staff satisfaction surveys. Both indicated that there was confusion around roles and responsibilities, reporting and communication. A lack of professional support was highlighted, especially for new staff to SCHHS at time of transition (30% of the Dietetic workforce).

Aim: This project aimed to develop and implement a professional team based governance structure. Six Dietetic teams were formed and led by HP5 Advanced Dietitians to provide clinical and professional support for dietetic staff whilst continuing to work within the broader AH dispersement structure.

Methods: Design and implement a team-based Dietetic Governance Structure, following whole change management processes.


  • A dietetic team-based governance structure was implemented Feb 2018.
  • All Dietetic staff across the SCHHS has access to an Advanced HP5 Dietetic Leader and supported clinically and professionally within teams.
  • A dietetic strategic plan has been developed with measurable key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Staff satisfaction survey will be repeated and focus groups will be conducted to determine the success of this initiative. Furthermore, quantitative data such as the number of KPIs met will be analysed.

Discussion: Implementation of a team-based dietetic governance structure is expected to enhance professional and clinical governance, with greater staff engagement and an increased number of KPIs met.


Dawber, J. et al. A realistic review of allied health management in Queensland Health: what works, in which contexts and why. July 2017 State of Queensland (Queensland Health)

Allied Health Professions Office of Queensland, Department of Health. Allied Health Clinical Governance Framework in Queensland Health. March 2015. State of Queensland (Queensland Health)


Kylie Clavarino is an Advanced Dietitian Leader who has worked in various leadership roles including Director, Clinical Lead and Multidiscipline Leader for Gastroenterology services within the SCHHS since 2005. Having worked in evolving AH structures in the preceding 5-6years Kylie has a strong focus on maintaining staff support and engagement to improve the quality of patient care.

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