The Committee on Patient Care was established on 11 May 1966 to advise the Hospitals Commission of New South Wales on the following:
i) the establishment of professional standards which should be met by the various hospitals, having due regard to their purposes;
ii) the maintenance of medical records that would provide some indication of the standards of medical care throughout the public hospitals, including the collection and analysis of such records;
iii) the pattern of medical staffing of public hospitals, with particular regard to the place of honorary service, part-time paid sessional service and full-time salaried service;
iv) the deployment of special services and facilities within the hospital system;
v) the review of professional activities and audits conducted by the various hospitals;
vi) in-patient and out-patient medical and nursing procedures;
vii) the best method of integrating the supportive services, including: out-patient departments, day hospitals, geriatric units, district nursing, transport services, charitable organizations, housekeeping service;
viii) the nature and development of the staff and services available in each Region;
ix) the provision of accident services in the community, and of specialist anaesthetic services, particularly in the country;
x) the role of the nursing profession, having regard to the changing circumstances envisaged in the Hospital Services Committee Report;
xi) any other matter touching on the standard of patient care in public hospitals in New South Wales referred to it by the Hospitals Commission, a Regional Advisory Council, or by a member of the Committee.(1)
The main function of the Committee on Patient Care was to debate matters submitted to it, with the power to accept, reject or modify them as the Committee deemed advisable. The Committee would channel information through the Health Commission to the Government. The Committee would not be required to attend to details, that would be done by the Health Commission’s staff.(2) The Committee included representatives from the medical professions and the Hospitals Commission. There were a number of sub-committees of the Committee on Patient Care. These sub-committees covered such topics as: the deployment of special services in teaching hospitals, standard pharmacopoeia for public hospitals, anaesthetic services in public hospitals, accident services, labour ward procedures, and medical records.(3)
The Committee on Patient Care met on a regular basis until its final meeting on 12 September 1973 with the Chairman, Dr Storey, conveying the Minister’s appreciation of the service rendered by the Committee.(4)
1. Minutes of Committee on Patient Care, State Records reference 8/2734.
2. Minutes of the Committee on Patient Care, 11 May 1966, State Records reference 8/2734.
3. Concise Guide to the State Archives (H-K): Health, K. Councils, Boards and Committees, f. Committee on Patient Care.
4. Minutes of the Committee on Patient Care, 12 September 1973, State Records reference 8/2736.