Our clinical leads
Dr Alex Psirides is an intensive care specialist and co-clinical director of the tertiary intensive care unit (ICU) at Wellington Regional Hospital and medical director of the ICU aeromedical retrieval service. He trained in London, Australia and New Zealand. He has been involved in the design and implementation of rapid response systems to detect and respond to in-patient deterioration in several countries. His work and research in this area led to his appointment as the national clinical lead for the Commission’s five-year patient deterioration programme. He is interested in how hospitals (often fail to) recognise dying patients and thinks we could and should do better. He has advised both the College of Intensive Care Medicine and the Ministry of Health on air ambulance organisation, governance and restructuring.
When not walking his dog or children, he builds websites and designs logos for Wellington ICU’s prodigious research department. He has nearly written a lot more papers so should spend less time on Twitter.
Dr Arthur Morris
Dr Arthur Morris is a clinical microbiologist at Auckland City Hospital.
Dr completed his science and medical degrees at the University of Otago and gained his fellowship from the Royal Australian College of Pathologists in 1989.
He has a long standing interest in healthcare associated infections and their prevention and has been involved with several Ministry of Health advisory and writing groups.
He has been clinical lead for the Commission’s Surgical Site Infection Improvement Programme since 2013.
Dr Carl Horsley is an intensive care specialist working in the critical care complex of Middlemore Hospital, Auckland. He underwent dual training in emergency medicine and intensive care and has a particular interest in simulation, paediatrics and non-invasive ventilation.
He is an active member of the Resilient Healthcare Network, a collaboration of safety scientists, researchers and clinicians exploring the implications of resilience engineering in health care. Carl is particularly interested in how to embed these ideas in everyday practice and has written several book chapters on various aspects of this work. Carl is currently completing an MSc in Human Factors and System Safety at Lund University, Sweden examining the role of social structures in enabling resilient performance.
Dr Chris Kalderimis has been a GP for fifty years in Karori, Wellington. He is the clinical lead for the advance care planning (ACP) steering committee. Chris has been involved in ACP as chair of the Wellington ACP steering group for many years. He has served on the boards of Mary Potter Hospice and Wellington Free Ambulance and was recently elected to the Capital and Coast District Health Board.
Dr Clive Bensemann is the clinical lead for the mental health and addiction (MHA) quality improvement programme. He works at Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB) as clinical leader for integrated care in MHA.
Clive trained first as a general practitioner before specialising as a psychiatrist and then as a medical administrator. He practices clinically in both general adult and older age psychiatry, and was previously clinical director of MHA services at Waikato DHB, and then director of MHA services at Auckland DHB. This work involved design and establishment of new services and management of large-scale service change. He was a sponsor of the national MHA key performance indicators programme for seven years and has an interest in measurement and use of improvement science.
David is the clinical lead for the Commission's adverse events learning programme and clinical director of patient safety and quality assurance at Counties Manukau Health. His clinical background is in mental health and has been working in South Auckland since 1999. He has led the serious adverse event committee at Counties Manukau Health on and off since 2008. He has recently completed his Master of Management (health service management) degree and has been elected fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.
He is also the deputy chief medical officer with broad responsibilities for resident medical officers at Counties Manukau Health.
Professor Ian Civil trained in Auckland, initially in general surgery and spent subsequent time in training in vascular surgery and trauma in the USA.
He is a professor of surgery at the University of Auckland's department of surgery and has been director of trauma services at Auckland City Hospital since 1992. He has served on a number of international trauma organisations becoming president of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) in 1990, president of the International Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Intensive Care (IATSIC) from 2007–09 and president of the Australasian Trauma Society (ATS) from 2011–13.
Ian is a member of the editorial boards for the World Journal of Surgery and the World Journal of Emergency Surgery, associate editor of Traffic Injury Prevention, senior editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery and deputy editor of INJURY. From 2003–12 Ian was a member of the Council of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and served as president from 2010–12. He is the clinical lead for the major trauma national clinical network and the medical clinical lead for the Commission's safe surgery advisory group.
Dr Matthew Drake
Dr Matthew Drake planned to train as an obstetrician, however some enthusiastic obstetric anaesthetists persuaded him that he could combine his interest in obstetrics with a career in anaesthesia. Originally from the United Kingdom, he is now a full-time obstetric anaesthetist and deputy service clinical director for national women’s health at Auckland City Hospital.
He has been involved in various quality improvement projects, including the introduction of enhanced recovery after obstetric surgery, anaesthesia for external cephalic version of breech presentation and development of a ‘mobile’ labour epidural service. He led the team that implemented the New Zealand maternity early warning system across Auckland DHB and continues its clinical oversight. He is currently leading implementation of the new safer NR-Fit small bore connector standard across Auckland DHB, the first major hospital to implement this replacement for the ‘luer’ standard in Australasia.
As well as being an obstetric anaesthesia representative on the Commission's Maternal Morbidity Working Group, championing the national implementation of the New Zealand Maternity Early Warning System, Matthew is the deputy chair of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists/New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists national obstetric anaesthesia leads network.
He has a keen interest in multidisciplinary obstetric anaesthesia education, lecturing on the midwifery course at the Auckland University of Technology, and as an instructor on the PROMPT (Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training) and MOET (Managing Obstetric Emergencies and Trauma) courses.
Dr Nigel Millar is the chief medical officer (CMO) at Southern DHB. Previously, Nigel was CMO for the Canterbury DHB for just over ten years.
During this time he participated in a transformational change to an integrated and connected health system.
A geriatrician and internal medicine physician by training – in Newcastle, UK – he came to Christchurch in 1992.
During ten years as clinical director of the older persons health service he participated in the elder care Canterbury initiative which created a unified and coordinated aged care community plus a series of successful improvement initiatives.
Nigel has led from the front in championing the implementation of clinical information systems – most lately a common shared record across the health service. The need for which was highlighted after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
As part of his work in aged care, Nigel has promoted the implementation of a standardised comprehensive assessment. Consequently the InterRAI assessment protocol is standard across the country in the community and currently being rolled out in residential care.
Nigel is an advisor to the Health Quality & Safety Commission. He is also the InterRAI Fellow for New Zealand and a director of the Health Round Table.
He continues clinical practice in internal medicine and geriatrics.
He is a committed lifelong cyclist and an advocate for active transport.
Clinical head of microbiology, LabPlus, Auckland District Health Board.
Dr Sally Roberts is a graduate of the University of Auckland School of Medicine graduating in 1989. She is a clinical microbiologist and infectious diseases physician at Auckland City Hospital and is the clinical head of microbiology at LabPlus, Auckland DHB.
Dr Roberts has been on a number of New Zealand Ministry of Health working groups including the MRSA guidelines working group (2002), chair of the national antenatal HIV screening implementation advisory group (2005 onwards), pandemic influenza technical advisory group, and tuberculosis working group.
Since August 2011 she has been working with the Health Quality & Safety Commission as clinical lead for the infection prevention and control programme.
Sandy Blake is the clinical lead for the Commission's Reducing Harm from Falls programme. She is the director of nursing, patient safety and quality, at Whanganui DHB, where she led the development of the DHB’s falls injury prevention programme, and sponsored a care indicator survey in the hospital and community to measure the prevalence and impact of falls.
In her previous position as state-wide nursing director of patient safety for Queensland Health, Sandy led the state falls injury prevention programme, directed policy development and implementation, and development of an online education module. Sandy was the project lead for the national falls injury prevention and pressure injury prevention mapping project undertaken in late 2011.