Page 2642 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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Health—paediatric services

MS CASTLEY: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, I refer to an article in the Canberra Times on Sunday, September 18 where you said that an external review of paediatric services was done late last year. What were the findings of this external review and why have you not released it?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Castley for the question. There were a number of findings and actions in relation to that. It resulted in the development of what is called the paediatric organisational and services plan 2021-23. While this was an external and independent review, it was done internally for Canberra Health Services for the purposes of Canberra Health Services’ own quality improvement.

Mr Hanson: So it was a secret review.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: It was by an external expert, but it was a review that was commissioned by Canberra Health Services itself for its own planning purposes and quality review purposes. We are looking at what we can release of that review and operational and services plan. I am happy to come back later in the day, in the course of our debate, and have a further conversation about that, recognising Ms Castley’s motion that is already on the Assembly notice paper.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, what prompted the external review?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: There were a number of things that prompted this work. One of them was in fact the ongoing work that we have been doing on our culture across our health services. This is very serious work that we recognised in 2018 with the independent culture review. That work has been ongoing for some years now. As members in this place would be very well aware, it includes the undertaking of cultural surveys that do identify some areas of our hospital services and our health services where culture is a challenge. Paediatrics was one of those areas that was identified. Further work has been undertaken in response to some of those issues that have been identified through the processes that we have been undertaking.

MR COCKS: Minister, prior to that review, when was the last time an external review was conducted into paediatric services?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you, Mr Cocks. I will take that question on notice.

Education—post-secondary study

MS ORR: My question is for the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Minister, COVID-19 has been a challenge for young people, and as we get closer to the end of the year many secondary students are thinking about what is next. What is the government doing to give students options for finding a career that suits them?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Orr for her question. I am really happy to let Assembly members know that over a month ago I launched the pilot program Head Start.
This was an ACT Labor election commitment to increase school-based

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