Page 2045 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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(12)  How often is training required to be updated/refreshed.

(13) Can the Minister provide details about what training security staff have received and if any training has not been delivered, why not.

(14) What is the annual cost of employing Dhulwa security staff for each year that Dhulwa has been open.

(15) Can the Minister provide details about any investigation and what/if any subsequent action was taken by Dhulwa/CHS/the Directorate, following the ABC report of 6 April 2022 that in 2018 several nurses reported being punched in the face and kicked in the head during multiple assaults by a patient and that ACT Policing investigated.

Ms Davidson: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1. The Mental Health Act 2015 mandates the provision of least restrictive care. Dhulwa is a sub acute unit, a secure hospital facility and not a correctional facility. While there can be complex and challenging consumers, the model of care within Dhulwa is designed to be recovery focused and therapeutic, not punitive, or disciplinary. Police attendance at Dhulwa is not specifically recorded by Canberra Health Services (CHS), however a visitors’ book is maintained by Dhulwa administration team members. To 18 May 2022, ACT Policing attended Dhulwa on 27 occasions since it opened in July 2017. For privacy and operational reasons, ACT Policing is not in a position, to share information regarding specific reasons for attendance in response to incidents at Dhulwa.

2. No. Teams are encouraged to make a complaint to police but are not obligated.

3. ACT Policing advise that when responding to any incident in the community, ACT Policing always takes the appropriate action directly relevant to the nature of that incident. For privacy and operational reasons, ACT Policing is not in a position to share information regarding specific police actions in response to incidents at Dhulwa.

4. Yes. Incidents are reviewed, both formally and informally, and risk mitigations are put in place where appropriate. Security officers are rotated between Dhulwa and other sites as part of a strategy to minimise complacency and mental fatigue, and as a continuity arrangement to provide appropriately skilled team members if there are shortages because of the public health emergency. At the request of the Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services Executive Director in October 2018, a security officer was permanently placed in the Lomandra nursing station to accompany clinical team members on the ward if there was a risk of occupational violence. Prior to this arrangement, security officers did not enter clinical areas unless a duress alarm was activated.

5. There has been no external reviews of security arrangements, however internal governance documents continue to be updated where gaps and improvements are identified.

6. A mixed-model approach to staffing was commenced in July 2019 across all of Canberra Health Services. The Security Supervisor and Security Control Room operator are directly employed by CHS. The remainder of guarding at the facility are contracted through a security labour company. There are five security officers during the day, and four security officers during the night, who work 12-hour shifts.

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