As part of St Vincent’s Health Australia, St Vincent’s Clinic is bound by published media protocols. All staff are reminded that it is a legal requirement that they work within the protocols when liaising with media.
The media is an important way for St Vincent’s Clinic to communicate with the wider community and the prominent media profile of the organisation has contributed to the positive reputation of St Vincent’s in Australia. For this reason, there is often media interest in the work done by St Vincent’s Clinic.
One of the key values of St Vincent’s Health Australia is respect for human dignity and in accordance with NSW Health Privacy Manual Version II 2005, the organisation as a whole has an over-arching commitment to protecting patient confidentiality in its dealings with media, unless there are extra-ordinary circumstances where informed patient consent is obtained.
It is St Vincent’s Health Australia policy that staff members must not directly contact or initiate contact with the media. Approval must be sought via the Public Affairs and Communications Department who will liaise with the relevant Executive Director of CEO if appropriate.
If a member of staff is contacted directly by the media and asked to make a statement or comment explicitly on behalf of St Vincent’s Health Australia, they must seek approval from the Public Affairs and Communications Department before proceeding further. This helps to ensure that staff are appropriately supported, that all messages are communicated effectively and that the person is in a position to speak authoritatively on behalf of the organisation.
When staff members speak with media in their individual capacity as representatives of external organisations or associations, it is the responsibility of the individual to make clear to the media that there is a separation between their role and their function within St Vincent’s Clinic. No mention should be made of St Vincent’s Health Australia or its entities or its position on the subject being discussed unless approval has been given via the Public Affairs and Communications Department.
For more information on media and public affairs, please contact David Faktor on 02 8382 2866 or email email@example.com.
The St Vincent’s Health Australia media protocols document can be downloaded here (PDF 84.6KB)