Professor Cliff Hughes is President of the International Society for Quality in Health Care. Until 31st March 2015 he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Clinical Excellence Commission, a statutory health corporation established in 2004 to build capacity and design programmes to promote and support improvement in quality and safety for health services across NSW. This appointment follows a 25-year career as a cardiothoracic surgeon in Sydney.
He has been chairman or member of numerous Australian state and federal committees associated with quality, safety and research in clinical practice for health care services. He has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, including Senior Examiner in Cardiothoracic Surgery and member of the College Council. In November 2015 the College bestowed upon him the highest award given to a Fellow in his lifetime, the Sir Hugh Devine Medal.
Professor Hughes is a Consultant in Quality and Safety in Healthcare at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London. He is also a Senior Clinical Advisor to the Patient Safety Domain, NHS England. He is on the Board of the Medstar Institute of Quality and Safety, Washington DC. He is Patient Safety Advisor at Macquarie University Hospital, Sydney, and a Senior Consultant at the Cardiothoracic Unit of Auckland Hospital, New Zealand.
Professor Hughes is, or has been, a Fellow of 9 Professional Colleges and numerous societies. He has served on four editorial boards and has published widely in books, journals and conference proceedings on cardiothoracic surgery, quality and safety. He has a particular passion for patient based care, better incident management, quality improvement programmes and the development of clinical leaders.
He has received awards for his national and international work including an Alumni Award from the University of NSW. He has led five medical teams to China and has performed cardiac surgery in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh. In 1998, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his contributions and “service to cardiac surgery, international relationships and the community”. In June 2014, the University of NSW conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, its highest academic award.