Page 2174 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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(Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (3.24): I rise to speak briefly on the government’s response to the ACT Auditor-General’s report No 1 of 2022, Management of detainee mental health services at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, which was circulated out of session. This report made 19 recommendations. The ACT government has carefully considered all of the recommendations and agreed to 10 recommendations, agreed in principle to eight recommendations and noted one recommendation.

It is important to note that Canberra Health Services, the ACT Health Directorate through Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services, and the Justice and Community Safety Directorate—specifically ACT Corrective Services—each have roles and responsibilities in the provision of mental health services at AMC.

A commitment to partnership between these interconnected agencies will support a co-design approach to sustainable improvements that will ensure the provision of safe and high-quality mental health care for detainees within the AMC. The re-established Health Advisory Group will initially concentrate on establishing roles and responsibilities within AMC, with a focus on clarity between clinical and non-clinical roles. While reviewing service delivery and implementing plans to improve the quality and safety of health care to detainees are core business-as-usual practices, the government welcomes the recommendations from the ACT Auditor-General.

Further, Canberra Health Services will lead the development of a justice health strategy. The justice health strategy will be undertaken in close collaboration with the Justice and Community Safety Directorate, ACT Health Directorate and Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services. This work will complement the implementation of the government response. The justice health strategy will be finalised by the end of this year. The strategy will guide the planning and direction of justice health services to ensure that the governance structures, future direction and service improvements are robust, sustainable and aligned to the overall principles of effective and efficient service delivery.

The key themes of the Auditor-General’s recommendations relate to governance, strategic planning, staff training, education and support, culturally appropriate and safe services, and clinical service improvement. I will summarise the thematic actions committed to by the ACT government in addressing the agreed recommendations. The ACT government response, circulated out of session, will further outline the proposed implementation time frames, as will the justice health strategy.

There are six recommendations that relate to governance. Recommendations 5 and 9 will be addressed by updating the current JACS and CHS arrangements document to outline the current shared care arrangements as well as the linkages between governance groups. Recommendation 6 will be addressed by improving ACT Health’s oversight of Winnunga service arrangements, and strengthening inter-agency partnership and co-design approaches to service delivery.

Recommendation 10 will be addressed by reviewing the Health Advisory Group’s purpose, membership and responsibilities, including the development of further key

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