Richard Sullivan is pleased to welcome Dr Sarah Jackson to the clinical directorate within Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora as National Chief, Quality and Patient Safety. Sarah brings more than 30 years’ experience working to improve quality and safety of care for patients and their whānau.

A qualified anaesthetist specialising in neuroanaesthesia, Sarah’s most recent role was Interim Chief Medical Officer at Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley. Sarah has led changes to models of care, and has established clinical governance boards at the district and regional level. She is chair of the Central Region Clinical Board, and anesthetic representative on the Cancer Services Planning – Surgical Services team, a group set up by Te Aho o Te Kahu, Cancer Control Agency, to look at how best to deliver surgical services to cancer patients in Aotearoa. Her previous research includes contributing to a study on ethnic disparities in postoperative mortality, with a specific focus on outcomes for Māori and non-Māori.

In her new role, Sarah is responsible for providing professional leadership for all quality and patient safety, working in collaboration with other clinical leads at national, regional and local levels.

Our thanks go to David Bunting for his willingness to serve as Interim National Lead for this essential work over the past year – David’s contribution has been greatly appreciated, and he is returning to his substantive role in Waikato.

This is our third permanent appointment to the Clinical Leadership Directorate, with more due to be announced shortly.