Allied health leadership in New South Wales: A study of perceptions and priorities of allied health leaders

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Health Review, 2018, 42 (3), pp. 316 - 320
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© AHHA 2018. Objective. The aim of the present study was to investigate the opinions and perceptions of senior allied health (AH) leaders in relation to AH leadership, governance and organisation from an Australian public health perspective. The target group was the New South Wales (NSW) Health AH directors or advisors, the most senior public AH professionals in NSW. Methods. The study was conducted over a 6-month period in 2014-15 and comprised two parts: (1) data collection through a 46-question online survey that sought the views of AH leaders about the field of AH in NSW; and (2) two confirmatory focus groups with members of the NSW Health Allied Health Directors Committee. Results. The online questionnaire generated novel information about the field of AH in the public sector of NSW, including the current organisation, governance and culture of AH. Focus group participants explored key findings in greater depth, including the effects of AH on and value of AH to the health system as a whole, as well as the attributes and competencies required by AH leaders. Participants identified the need to build and grow their influence, to more clearly demonstrate AH's contribution and to realign efforts towards more strategic issues influencing governance, performance, professional standards and advocacy. This entailed broadening the vision and scope of AH Directors as well as across discipline leaders. Conclusion. The results provide new information about Australian AH leadership, governance, culture and organisation, and highlight potential priorities for future leadership activities.
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