Page 409 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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But it is just part of the ACT government’s commitment to supporting our healthcare staff in the public health system and promoting safe work environments where they can flourish.

Sadly, as you would be aware, Madam Speaker, occupational violence, bullying and harassment are serious issues for healthcare workers worldwide, with health care consistently ranking as one of the most affected industries. To combat this, the Nurses and Midwifes: Towards a Safer Culture strategy has sought to address issues related to workplace safety on multiple fronts over recent years. A key aspect of the strategy is the Safewards model of care trial in the ACT. The Safewards model is an evidenced-based initiative to reduce conflict and containment in inpatient healthcare settings.

The Safewards trial was also found to be a strong fit with strategies that address occupational violence, as well as promoting broader culture change strategies that imbed respect, inclusion and collaboration across wards. The majority of nurses surveyed for the Safewards post implementation review across the four wards said that the model had reduced conflict and containment in their workplaces. Nearly half of all Safeward’s nurses had heard positive feedback from patients regarding the model’s impact on their care. And we are now considering recommendations to implement the safe ward model in more care settings.

In addition, the government has launched a community awareness campaign, reminding healthcare consumers to be kind towards our staff and to respect the rights of ACT Health employees. While not targeting staff directly, this campaign supports staff and seeks to encourage them to speak up when they experience or witness unacceptable behaviours—as indeed does the rollout of the Speaking Up for Safety program. Canberra Health Services has also implemented several measures to create safer work environments, and this includes changes to design of work environments et cetera. (Time expired.)

Education Directorate—Campbell Primary School procurement

MR CAIN: My question is to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Minister, during the recent annual reports hearings you said that you were first made aware of the lack of probity in the Campbell Primary School procurement when the Auditor-General’s report was released late last year. You also said, and I quote, “there was nothing wrong that was done, and the procurement processes were followed.” The Auditor-General’s report says, “the procurement process … lacked probity.” Minister, are you saying that the Auditor-General reached an incorrect conclusion?

MS BERRY: No, Madam Speaker.

MR CAIN: Why did it take an Auditor-General’s report for you to know what was going on in your directorate?

MS BERRY: Well, often the outcome of Auditor-General reports are not known until they are released.

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