Quality Assurance Committees (QACs) are committees established for the purpose of improving the safety and quality of health services. QACs are established under Part 6, of the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.
The functions of a QAC must include:
- assessing and evaluating health services
- reporting and making recommendations concerning the quality of health services
- monitoring the implementation of its recommendations.
The establishment of a QAC can encourage and facilitate the voluntary participation of persons to give information in a confidential and privileged environment. A person, who honestly and on reasonable grounds gives information to a QAC, is not subject to liability for giving the information and no action, claim or demand may be taken or made of or against the person for giving the information.
The members of a QAC and those assisting a QAC to perform its functions are subject to very strict confidentiality provisions – severe penalties apply to persons who breach confidentiality.
Information or documents given to a QAC by a person, or created by or for a QAC cannot be accessed under any judicial or administrative orders and are not admissible in any legal proceedings. Similarly, the members of a QAC and those assisting a QAC cannot be called to give evidence in legal proceedings.
Two or more of the following bodies can individually or jointly establish a single committee:
- the Chief Executive of a Hospital and Health Service, professional association, society, college or other entity whose functions relate to the provision of health services or to the providers of health services
- the Chief Executive (for Queensland Health, this is the Director-General)
- the licensee of a private health facility
However, the establishing entity must be satisfied the committee's functions would benefit from the immunities and protections afforded to QACs, members, relevant persons and persons who give information, pursuant to Part 6, of the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.
QACs are not subject to requests for information under the Right to Information Act 2009. However, QACs must make information about their membership (member’s names and qualifications), a summary of activities performed in, and any outcomes of, the exercise of the committee’s functions publicly available every three years.
Need further information
Contact us via email: Quality-Assurance-Committee@health.qld.gov.au