Page 1142 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 4 May 2022

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ACT Health—workplace culture

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.22): I rise today to provide the Assembly with the biannual update on the actions being taken in response to the independent review into the workplace culture within ACT public health services.

Madam Speaker, significant work has progressed against these recommendations at a system-wide level and within each of the three arms of the public health system—that is, the ACT Health Directorate, Canberra Health Services and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce. It is also timely to recognise that 5 May marks the start of Nurses and Midwives Week, with 5 May being International Day of the Midwife and 12 May being International Nurses Day. I am looking forward to celebrating these important days with our incredibly hardworking nurses and midwives, to keep listening to them and to thank them for their care of our community. It has been great to meet with so many of them recently and I look forward to celebrating their professions over the next week.

The strong governance framework of the culture review implementation continues to ensure that a positive workplace culture is embedded and sustained across the ACT public health system. The culture reform oversight group, which I chair, and the culture review implementation steering group, chaired by the Director-General of the ACT Health Directorate, continue to meet on a regular basis. These groups remain committed to delivering the recommendations of the review to and across our public health services.

The three working groups of the oversight group continue to work collaboratively and constructively to deliver initiatives that reinforce sustainable change and drive system-wide cultural reform. These working groups are the system-wide HR matters working group, the early intervention working group and the professional transition to work working group. Membership of these working groups includes members of the oversight group and other key stakeholders, including representatives from universities and the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.

The working groups have progressed a range of initiatives that support our current and prospective workforce. The system-wide HR matters working group is currently focused on system-wide industrial matters. An initial workshop was held in March, providing a forum for stakeholders to collaborate and genuinely consult on system-wide industrial relations issues, with a focus on developing evidence-based innovative solutions and improvement.

Further workshops have been scheduled throughout 2022 to enable solution-focused discussions on longstanding matters. For example, in response to system-wide feedback on work health and safety and incident reporting, a system-wide work health and safety community of practice has been established. An initial meeting was held in March to provide evidence-based recommendations to the culture review implementation steering group.

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