Safety and quality update: July 2021

19 July 2021

New this month: Voluntary Assisted Dying now accessible to eligible Western Australians, call for national approach to pandemic research, Safer Care Victoria Safety Fellows Program, WebAIRS update: Designing Safe and Efficient Systems

Voluntary Assisted Dying now accessible to eligible Western Australians

Voluntary Assisted Dying came into effect in Western Australia (WA) on 1 July 2021. This follows legislation passed in December 2019 which enables eligible people to request access to assisted dying through a medical practitioner. WA Health says strong safeguards are in place to ensure any request for access is voluntary and the patient is not being pressured. Detailed information and resources for health practitioners are available here. ANZCA’s 2017 submission to the Parliament of Western Australia Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices - Inquiry into End of Life Choices, is available here

Call for national approach to pandemic research

Experts have called for Australia to follow overseas examples and establish a national, coordinated approach for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for COVID-19, any future pandemics, and inter-pandemic periods. In a piece published this week by the Medical Journal of Australia, Associate Professor Asha Bowen (paediatric infectious diseases specialist at Perth Children’s Hospital, and Program Head of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Telethon Kids Institute) and colleagues, made a number of recommendations including forming a national pandemic clinical trials prioritisation panel to advise the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Medical Research Future Fund, chief health officers, and National Cabinet. For more information see here.

Safer Care Victoria Safety Fellows Program

Safer Care Victoria (SCV) is seeking mid-career clinicians from all fields and specialities to join its Safety Fellows program. The program aims to increase health sector capability by developing and embedding professionals with patient safety review expertise in Victorian health services, and to increase the availability of suitably experienced review members. Applications close 22 July 2021 and further information is available here.       

WebAIRS update

Dr Stavros Prineas will present ‘The Resilient Anaesthetist 2021’ at the WebAIRS session at the Conjoint ASA NSC and Queensland ACE meeting on Saturday 24 July. This is instead of the previously scheduled panel discussion. The updated details of the session are:

  • Designing Safe and Efficient Systems
  • Setting up STARS: Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation Services. (Dr David Sturgess and Dr Jessica Taylor)
  • Using Bowtie Diagrams for Predicting, Preventing and Preparedness. (Dr Martin Culwick, Dr Yasmin Endlich and Dr Stavros Prineas)
  • The Resilient Anaesthetist 2021. (Dr Stavros Prineas)

For more information visit the ASA website 

Are you contributing to quality anaesthesia?

Visit the webAIRS website to register or email

Safety alerts

For all safety alerts see here.

Last updated 16:33 14.12.2021