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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4838 ..


Mrs Dunne has cited figures around staff incidences and levels of mental stress. I think that there are a number of reasons for that. One is that these are extremely difficult areas to work in. We have had significant discussion in this place particularly about the challenges of working in a mental health environment. Of course, justice health is dealing with forensic clients both in custody at the AMC and also at community facilities, particularly here in Moore Street in the city. Alcohol and drug services, of course, are dealing with people with significant addiction issues.

These are all stressful environments. Certainly in the mental health space, it has also been openly discussed in this place that we have had some staff shortages and there is no doubt that that has, at times, exacerbated the level of stress for staff.

I think that we have been successful in responding to that through our recruitment efforts through the creation of a retention agreement. We now have more permanent staff on our roster than we did earlier in the year. I think that is a testament to the recruitment efforts. It is creating greater stability, providing less reliance on locums and, I think, overall has been seen very positively in terms of morale amongst the staff.

MRS DUNNE: This supplementary question really is for the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Minister, are there other areas of the hospital that are showing similarly high levels of mental stress?

MADAM SPEAKER: I remind you, Mrs Dunne, that the executive can determine who is the most appropriate to answer a question.

MS FITZHARRIS: I will take the question on notice.

MR WALL: I daresay this will be taken on notice as well: minister, which areas of Canberra's health services have the highest incidence of staff suffering from mental stress?

MS FITZHARRIS: I will take the question on notice.

Health portfolio—staff safety

MS LAWDER: My question is to the minister for mental health and corrections. I refer to a document titled "Staff incident reporting trends for mental health, justice health, alcohol and drug services for the first quarter of 2018". It shows that there were 75 incidents of staff being hit by moving objects in the 12 months to March 2018. Minister, why were there so many reports of staff being hit by moving objects in the year between April 2017 and March 2018, and what is being done?

MR RATTENBURY: Without wanting to be flippant, that is because that is the number of incidents that were reported. I am happy to provide on notice, if Ms Lawder would like, the definition of that; I think that it goes to part of the question.


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