Page 1082 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
long will the inquiry be? When will it report? Will you commit to implementing its recommendations?
MS DAVIDSON: I thank you for the question. We are currently working through all of those details with the ANMF because we want to make sure that the nurses’ voices are heard and that the inquiry that is run addresses the concerns that the nurses brought to us. I will provide updates as they are decided.
MR HANSON: Minister, will there be public hearings, and what will you be doing to protect nurses who fear speaking out about conditions at Dhulwa?
MS DAVIDSON: As I have said previously, there will be the opportunity for hearing submissions and for the nurses to be able to engage in that inquiry, which will be independently chaired. That will all be covered in the terms of reference, which we are working through with the ANMF right now.
MS CASTLEY: Do you share Mr Daniel’s serious concern that a nurse could lose their life on the job at Dhulwa?
MS DAVIDSON: It is always a very serious concern when people are experiencing safety issues in their workplace. That is why we are going to be holding this inquiry, which will be independently chaired and will have inputs from WorkSafe ACT, the Human Rights Commission and an independent clinical review. So we are doing absolutely everything we can to address those concerns.
Dhulwa Mental Health Unit—safety
MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, the Canberra Liberals share the union’s serious concerns for the safety of nurses at Dhulwa mental health facility. Have you increased security at Dhulwa to protect nurses since 5 April, when the union launched its public campaign, and do security staff have the power to step in and protect nurses?
MS DAVIDSON: Thank you for the question. We have made a number of changes to improve security and safety at Dhulwa, over a period of years, but also to address the specific circumstances that occurred during February, when there was an increase in incidents. It is also really important to make sure that the nurses are able to be part of the conversation about any changes in their workplace. That is why we are engaging with the ANMF and why CHS are working with WorkSafe ACT to make sure that any improvements that can be identified are able to be implemented quickly.
MS CASTLEY: How will Dhulwa nurses be protected while the inquiry is underway, and if attacks continue will you close the facility?
MS DAVIDSON: It is really important that everyone feels safe, supported and confident at work. Dhulwa is a mental health facility that is providing care and support for people with some of the most complex mental health conditions in the ACT. This means that the way that we provide care and keep staff safe at work will be different to other workplaces around the ACT. That commitment to a safe workplace