Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 September 2022) . . Page.. 2648 ..
In the electorate of the member who asked me the supplementary, the Athllon Drive project is a really great project which will enable us to rehabilitate the road surface of Athllon Drive at the same time as we undertake those important duplication works, both on the southern section in Tuggeranong and in the northern section in Phillip.
Health—nurse-led walk-in centres
DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, last week you announced that the ACT’s nurse-led walk-in centres will now be treating children aged one or older. How will this benefit the Canberra community?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. I was indeed very pleased to announce last week that the ACT’s network of nurse-led walk-in centres will be able to provide families and carers of young children with more options to seek treatment closer to home. The walk-in centres have expanded their services to include the treatment of children from one year of age for non-urgent injuries and illnesses such as cold symptoms, superficial wounds and simple lacerations, rashes and skin conditions, minor head injuries and other presentations. Previously, the service at walk-in centres was limited to children from two years of age, so this change means that families and carers can access more treatment from our talented advanced practice nurses and nurse practitioners without the need to attend an emergency department and with no appointment needed.
The ACT government recognises that with children the unexpected can happen and families may not be in a position to wait for an appointment with their regular health practitioner. We also know that waiting in the emergency department for this kind of treatment is not something that families want to be doing. This service expansion provides another option for parents and carers to have in their toolbox and will mean fewer presentations at our emergency departments.
Of course, the parents or carers of children with serious or complex care needs should continue to seek medical care for them from a GP or, if urgent, attend an emergency department. But our nurse-led walk-in centres are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, across the ACT. They are innovative. They are highly valued by Canberrans. They are an important part of our health system. I am very proud of the work that they do, continuing to find new ways to expand their exceptional care for Canberrans.
DR PATERSON: Minister, what research and work has been undertaken to facilitate this change at our walk-in centres?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the supplementary. The service expansion to children of one year of age is a great example of an evidence-based innovation that has been backed by feedback from consumers, staff and the examination of emergency department presentation data. The dedicated nurses at our walk-in centres have completed a research and consultation project over an 18-month period.
I particularly want to call out Jon Howes, an advanced practice nurse at Tuggeranong walk-in centre, who initiated and drove this research. Jon and the team found that