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Director-General

Photo of Dr John Wakefield, Director-General
Dr John Wakefield

Dr John Wakefield PSM, Director-General, Queensland Health

Dr John Wakefield PSM has 30 years' experience in clinical and management roles in rural, regional and tertiary public sector health services in Queensland.

After completing a Fellowship under Dr Jim Bagian at the National Centre for Patient Safety of the VA Health System in the United States, he returned to Queensland in 2004 and established the Queensland Health Patient Safety Centre, which he led until late 2012.

He established a statewide network of patient safety officers and successfully established a legislative framework for incident analysis, ultimately demonstrating measurable reductions in preventable adverse events.

John is actively involved in national efforts to improve patient safety in partnership with the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

He chaired the National Open Disclosure Pilot Project and regularly teaches Open Disclosure and other patient safety curricula. His research interests include patient safety culture, safety performance measurement and Open Disclosure.

In 2011, John was awarded a public service medal for services to patient safety as part of the national Australia Day Awards.

John returned to the Department of Health in 2016 to lead the newly formed Clinical Excellence Queensland (CEQ). He and his team have led significant reforms in Mental Health, Nursing, Maternity Services. At the heart of CEQ are the Clinical Senate and Clinical Networks, driving continuous improvements in service quality and outcomes for patients across the state.

John has developed a successful leadership development program for clinicians from trainee to executive. Graduating over 1000 participants each year, and consulting to ten HHSs, CEQ has set the national benchmark for investment in clinician leaders for the 21st century.

Last updated: 10 September 2019