Page 2670 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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(m) CHS underwent an organisation-wide accreditation conducted by independent assessors in June 2022, meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Services Standards across all aspects of paediatric service provision, including all actions under Standard 8 Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration;

(n) the Minister for Health will convene a Child and Adolescent Clinical Services Expert Panel to support the finalisation of the Territory­wide Child and Adolescent Clinical Services Plan; and

(o) the Expert Panel will review and monitor implementation of existing recommendations and priorities, including recommendations from the CHS Paediatric Organisation and Service Plan 2021-2023; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to report to the Legislative Assembly on the work of the Expert Panel and the development of the Child and Adolescent Clinical Services Plan by 30 June 2023.”.

Public paediatric health services are delivered across a range of areas in the ACT, including both hospital and community settings. Each year, thousands of children, adolescents and families will present for appointments or urgent treatment for a range of acute and chronic conditions. To enable the continued delivery of accessible and sustainable health services for paediatric patients, Canberra Health Services commissioned an external review of paediatric services across the continuum of this care. This review was finalised in 2021, and work to implement the findings of the review has been occurring since.

As I noted in question time, one of the prompts for this work was the ongoing cultural improvement activity across Canberra Health Services and, indeed, our wider public health system. However, the primary focus of the in-depth review was to look at Canberra Health Services paediatric services into the future based on population needs, data, best practice and consultation with staff and stakeholders.

A key outcome of the review was the working document known as the CHS Paediatric Organisation and Service Plan 2021-2023. This outlines the considerations needed to expand specialty services, including when the ACT and surrounding New South Wales region population grows to a point that sub-specialities, such as paediatric cardiologists and neurologists, can be safely supported, and how services can be strengthened, in the meantime, through a networked approach with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. I note Ms Castley has been out in the media talking about the need for paediatric cardiology and neurology, without seeking any briefing whatsoever. I am, as I indicated in question time, looking at how we can release this work, which clearly indicates that those services could not be sustained in the ACT safely at this point in time.

The review also looked at how Canberra Hospital can expand paediatric intensive care capability and work towards the establishment of a level 1 paediatric intensive care unit as part of the critical services building development. It is important to ensure that all this work is done in a safe and evidence-based way. Supporting subspecialities has a number of safety and quality considerations, including: accreditation, training and population requirements. Also included in this review was consideration of the systems in place to provide care and treatment for critically unwell children and adolescents, and that is the focus of today’s motion.

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