Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 October 2022) . . Page.. 2941 ..
continued to keep our community safe. I thank the ACT Policing officers for their ongoing dedication and professionalism, the families that support our officers, and the broader AFP and its partner agencies, for working together to ensure the safety of our community.
Canberra Hospital—intensive care unit
MS CASTLEY: My question is to the health minister. I refer to a Canberra Times article on 25 September, which reported on a review into Canberra Hospital’s intensive care unit that reveals staff are fatigued, feel unsupported and undervalued and did not feel they were sufficiently skilled to take on duties allocated to them. Minister, why do we have staff at the Canberra Hospital’s intensive care unit who work so hard but have said they do not have the skills to perform the duties asked of them?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Castley for the question. Of course, the reason this work was undertaken was because Canberra Health Services is proactively responding to issues that are arising through things like the survey of culture that was conducted in November last year; identifying areas where there were specific concerns, particularly areas where concerns had come up over a number of surveys, and in doing that deeper work, to understand what is driving those concerns from staff; what is driving the poor culture outcomes that are being seen in the survey. So this work reflects proactive activity from Canberra Health Services to address those deeper issues. When you do that, people are going to tell you what is driving the concerns that they have been expressing through the surveys. That is exactly what has happened here. When we have asked the question, we hear those answers. Then we can respond to them. Of course it is a concern to me, it is a concern to the leadership of Canberra Health Services, when we get this feedback that staff are not feeling as well supported as we would like. But that is what gives us the opportunity to then respond to that and to do something about it, which is exactly what is happening.
MS CASTLEY: Minister, what specific actions have you taken in response to the finding that the ICU staff are not skilled to perform the tasks asked of them.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: There are a range of actions that Canberra Health Services is taking in response to this work more broadly. So I will take the question on notice to provide a comprehensive response to Ms Castley about that.
MR CAIN: Minister, why do intensive care unit staff feel unsupported and undervalued as reported.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Cain for the question. This is exactly why that work is done. To understand how staff are feeling, why they are feeling that way; to do the deeper dive with them, to engage them in understanding the problem so that we can engage them in the solution. As I have indicated in my previous response to Ms Castley, there is now a range of work that is going on to respond to that. I would note that some of these questions were asked a little while ago. There have been some changes in the intensive care unit already, and I am very hopeful that is already changing the culture and the experience of staff in the intensive care unit. We also acknowledged some time ago there were staff coming into the intensive care unit that