About the Clinical Communiqué
The Clinical Communiqué is an electronic publication containing narrative case reports about lessons learned from Coroners’ investigations into preventable deaths in acute hospital and community settings. The Clinical Communiqué is written by clinicians, for clinicians. The Clinical Communiqué was first published in 2003. Twenty-one editions were released before it went into a hiatus in 2009-2013 due to resource constraints. It was re-launched in September 2014. The goal is to improve the awareness of health care professionals, clinicians and managers about the nature and circumstances of the systems failures that contributed to patient adverse events. The Clinical Communiqué employs an innovative and collaborative approach that is designed to improve patient care through awareness and education. The Clinical Communiqué is published free, distributed electronically every quarter, and uses cases from local, interstate, and international jurisdictions to explore the challenges that clinicians face every day in providing clinical care. Each edition identifies key themes that are vital to improving patient safety. Cases taken from inquest findings are presented in a readily accessible format, with commentaries provided by experts in the field. The Clinical Communiqué is written, edited, published and distributed by the Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.
Meet the team
Nicola Cunningham

Dr. Nicola Cunningham

Editor in Chief

Dr Nicola Cunningham is a Senior Forensic Physician at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) and an Emergency Physician at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. She also works as an Academy Member with the Incident Response Team for Safer Care Victoria (DHHS). Her clinical roles provide insight into community and hospital medicine, and the interface between these areas, as well as a unique perspective on the medico-legal aspects of clinical practice gained by managing a wide variety of forensic cases.

Nicola is responsible for the Forensic Medicine Registrar Program at the VIFM and has a keen interest in improving the management of forensic cases, having presented and published nationally and internationally on this topic. She has also published a number of articles relating to patient safety in leading health and law journals. She is the current medico-legal editor of the Emergency Medicine Australasia journal (EMA), and a section editor for an international textbook of Emergency Medicine. She is a Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and a Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Forensic Medicine with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. She has a Master of Forensic Medicine, holding honorary appointments at both the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, and Monash University, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Her ongoing interests include raising awareness of latent system errors in forensic medicine, and educating front line clinical staff in the safe management of cases, including the identification of potential medico-legal issues.

Joseph Ibrahim

Professor Joseph Ibrahim

Consultant Editor

Professor Joseph Ibrahim commenced at VIFM in 2002 and contributes clinical and academic expertise in his role at the Prevention Research Unit within the Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University. Joseph’s research and education focus is the role of medico-legal death investigations for improving patient safety, and the prevention of injury to older people living in Residential Aged Care. Joseph is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine.

Joseph’s current research interests include: patient safety and human factors; quality of clinical care and performance indicators; dementia; and effects of extreme heat on the health in older persons. Joseph founded and is the current editor of the Residential Aged Care Communiqué (2006 onwards) and a former regional editor for the International Journal for Quality in Health Care (2000-2004). Joseph also co-led the establishment of the Coronial Communiqué (2003-2010).

Joseph contributes to the education activities of the Centre of Research Excellence in Patient Safety, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Joseph also has an appointment as an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University.

Samuel Gillard

Samuel Gillard


Samuel Gillard is currently involved in the Future Leaders Communiqué publication as the designer. He uses his offtime to read books and is an avid fan of fantasy and sci-fi literature.

Samuel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Writing and Publishing. He uses this knowledge gained to help the process and final product of each Future Leaders Communiqué issue. He enjoys creating designs and all aspects of developing publications.