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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (13 August) . .

Page.. 2455..

Order of the day—postponement

Ordered that order of the day No 4, private members' business be postponed until the next day of sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—internal review

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, you revealed yesterday in the Assembly that an internal review has recently been conducted at the Canberra Hospital by a senior member of staff, Dr Debbie Browne. What was the reason for conducting the review?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. I did not confirm that there had been an internal review in the hospital. I said that Dr Deborah Browne, who is the director of patient safety and quality, in her appointment to that position with the restructure of Health, has undertaken, and is undertaking—in fact, it is not completed—a series of what are known as patient safety conversations, ward by ward through the hospital. So they are not triggered by any event. They are something that Dr Browne has done in hospitals she has worked in overseas, primarily in the United Kingdom.

What happens is that they sit down with the staff on the ward and ask a series of questions that relate to goings-on in a ward. For example, "Has anything occurred over the past week that has resulted in you feeling that you are not able to do your job to the safest degree possible?" There is a series of open-ended questions to staff. Staff answer those questions and it is used to inform any changes to patient safety that need to be undertaken throughout the hospital. They are doing it ward by ward. There is no incident that has led to it. In fact Dr Browne's briefing to me has been that we are operating a very safe hospital at Canberra Hospital, but we have patient safety and quality units particularly to focus on improving patient safety all the time, and that is what this series is about. But there is no written document. It is just a meeting with individual team members on each ward in the hospital, and I believe there are only three or four of those wards to go, and that they have done the majority of the hospital.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Have any seminars been conducted as part of this body of work in external locations to the hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: Not to my understanding in relation to the patient safety conversations; they are being held with the wards within the Canberra Hospital. It would not surprise me if Dr Brown, as part of her work, is conducting other sessions across the health system more broadly, but I am very happy to take that on notice and come back to you.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, have the results of the review been shared with staff and what was the nature of this process?

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