Page 916 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. The $18 million investment that we announced in March provides funding to undertake the operational commissioning of the critical services building, the largest infrastructure component in the $624 million Canberra Hospital expansion project, which of course in itself is the largest investment in health infrastructure since self-government.

The commissioning process will focus on preparing the workforce, service providers and our community for the commencement and opening of healthcare services in the new critical services building in 2024. The operational commissioning will activate the new facility for patients and visitors beyond the physical construction of the infrastructure. This requires time, effort and planning.

The critical services building itself, of course, will be state of the art, delivering more theatres, more intensive care beds, more treatment spaces in the emergency department, more medical imaging facilities, more inpatient beds and additional ambulance bays.

The commissioning takes into account the complexity and the technological sophistication of this 40,000 square metre critical services building. The whole implementation will be managed through a change program that will affect more than 2,000 Canberra Health Services staff and 26 clinical and operational departments. The program will also manage an estimated 41,000 items of ICT, medical equipment, furniture, fittings and general equipment and will impact our key partners such as the ACT Ambulance Service, retrieval services and others.

The operational commissioning program describes the process for supporting our people and the change management strategy to be used in the new infrastructure, including relocation, public consultation, management of equipment, selection procurement delivery, storage, installation and testing, establishing inventories, specific planning for the workforce, developing maintenance specifications, software and hardware mapping and risk management planning.

DR PATERSON: Minister, what will commissioning the critical services building mean for the workforce and the facility once it is open?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the supplementary. The operational commissioning program will have a strong focus on supporting and building our workforce for the opening of the critical services building. The state-of-the-art design of this building means teams will have access to the latest advances in medical technology and new amenities to do what they do best, caring for their patients.

The change management work of operational commissioning will complete the workforce plan to bring on more doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and support staff, develop job specifications and a recruitment strategy for the opening of the critical services building, ensure there is a streamlined process on entry to the organisation for new clinical and support staff, and comprehensive development of necessary workforce training and education modules. The workforce planning for the critical services building is, of course, already underway, including the staging of planned recruitment activities across the various clinical professions.

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