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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3251 ..


Update on ACT Health transition and Australian Council on Healthcare Standards accreditation

Ministerial statement

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.05): Today I would like to update the Assembly and the broader community on the significant work that has been going on across ACT Health to improve workplace culture and to cement the organisational values of care, excellence, collaboration and integrity. March 2018 marked a significant turning point for ACT Health for a number of reasons, which I will outline today.

It was in March that the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, ACHS, conducted an organisation-wide survey of ACT Health as part of the re-accreditation process. I will go into greater detail on this shortly, but it is fair to say that this site visit and the resulting not met report were the catalyst for a profound shift in the organisation, one which has resulted in an outstanding accreditation result and a glowing external assessment of ACT Health's culture, leadership and commitment to continuous improvement.

It was also in March that the Minister for Mental Health and I announced that ACT Health would become two distinct organisations from 1 October 2018. The organisational reform will build on the outstanding improvements we have seen through the re-accreditation process and will be an opportunity to re-set and re-focus the organisation on its core purpose and values.

Madam Speaker, as part of the reform, the interim director-general is leading an extensive piece of work focused on the cultural needs of the organisations, in particular for the first six months of operations. I will go into further detail on both the progress of the transition and the work to improve ACT Health's culture and to cement its values shortly.

But first to accreditation. As I mentioned earlier, ACT Health underwent a re-accreditation assessment in March 2018 against the 10 national safety and quality health service standards. All public and private hospitals in Australia undergo this important rigorous process. The process is part of a continuous cycle of improvement to ensure that we deliver safe and high quality health care to Canberrans. It is an opportunity to identify areas for improvement that will make health services even better.

As part of the process, the ACHS conducted an organisation-wide survey of ACT Health between 19 and 23 March. During this survey, ACHS assessed ACT Health's implementation of the national standards. ACT Health was assessed against 256 actions, 209 of which are core under the national standards. While ACT Health met 176 of the core criteria, the surveyors assessed it as not meeting 33 of the core criteria under five of the 10 national standards.


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