Page 2667 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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increased heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, saturation of oxygen, respiratory rate could trigger an increase in patient monitoring from four-hourly to half-hourly, as an example.

A single-point trigger system would be more sensitive to deteriorating children and escalate the frequency of observations and the call for additional care. It is a given, Mr Assistant Speaker, that as well as introducing the new protocol to improve the system of monitoring sick children, staff working in these areas—for example ED, intensive care, paediatrics—must be trained in the new system to ensure compliance.

The Canberra Health Services has said in the media that this system has been under review for over 12 months and that the review has included input from clinicians, a review of national and international literature and alternative warning systems. The Canberra Liberals today call on the health minister to immediately release this review and its recommendations. More importantly, what has the health minister done? What action has she taken following this review? That is what Canberrans want to know. They do not want more reviews without action.

Professor Abhayaratna has also referred to better systems offered in New South Wales and Victoria. At the risk of stating the obvious, if the medical experts say that there are better systems currently working in other states then surely the government must do everything it can to implement these better systems here. Canberrans deserve the best system.

The New South Wales system, which is called Between the Flags, is a deteriorating-patient safety net system for patients in New South Wales public health facilities. It is designed to assist clinicians to recognise when patients are deteriorating and to respond appropriately when they do. There is regular staff training and education.

The Victorian model is for paediatrics. It helps healthcare staff to recognise early signs when a child becomes more unwell and to respond appropriately. ViCTOR stands for Victorian Children’s Tool for Observation and Response. It is a set of standardised evidence-based tools to help health services develop more robust mechanisms to detect and respond to patient deterioration. ViCTOR comprises a set of five age-specific track-and-trigger paediatric observation charts for use in Victorian hospitals. Those age groups are: less than three months, three to 12 months, one to four years, five to 11 years, and 12 to 18 years:. Importantly, concerning changes in any one observation or vital sign are indicated by two coloured zones: orange and purple. If a child’s observation transgresses the orange or purple zone, an escalation of care response is triggered. Imagine if the Canberra Hospital had had the ViCTOR system operating here. Imagine how events might have unfolded differently for Rozalia.

The government must do everything it can to stop children dying in our hospitals. That is why, as part of this motion, I am calling on the government to detail what investigations it has made of these two systems and when the ACT will implement a similar model.

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