Page 3691 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 November 2022
clinical recommendations in relation to those. These are areas that we are very much focused on. Canberra Health Services in particular has a significant focus on addressing those outpatient wait times.
ACT Health—workplace culture review
MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, during annual reports hearings the Director-General of ACT Health said that all of the recommendations from the culture review are “open to different interpretations of what full completion would look like”. The terms of reference for the Culture Reform Oversight Group list the ANMF as a member. However, I understand that the ANMF are no longer part of this group, having left back in December 2021. Why did the ANMF, the peak body for nurses’ and midwives’ safety, leave the Cultural Reform Oversight Group?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Castley for the question. I would be happy to table the letter from the ANMF, withdrawing from membership of the Culture Reform Oversight Group. I have not got it on me, but if it is helpful for the Assembly I am happy to do that. It may indeed be part of the papers that are publicly released in relation to the Culture Reform Oversight Group. Papers and minutes are released following meetings. We have a very transparent process around that.
Primarily, the reason that the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation withdrew from the Culture Reform Oversight Group I think is probably twofold. There was a level of frustration that the work that was being done through the oversight group, in terms of that high level monitoring of system-wide recommendations, was not necessarily meeting the focus priority areas for the Nursing and Midwifery Federation. They had a very clear focus on three issues: safety, consultation and workload. Many of the recommendations that were being addressed through the culture reform process did not go specifically to those issues that they really wanted to focus on. I also recognise that they had some frustration with the process itself. Again, I am very happy to get a copy of that letter and table it for the Assembly.
MS CASTLEY: Were the issues that the ANMF raised being interpreted as insufficient? I would like to understand more about that.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I am not going to speak on behalf of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.
MR COCKS: Minister, why isn’t this government delivering on its promise to provide a positive culture in its workplaces?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I think we have seen evidence over the last few years that we have seen consistently an improvement in workplace culture when it comes to our culture surveys. The last culture survey of Canberra Health Services had the best outcome overall of the service that has ever been seen in that survey. That can be compared over time, going right back, if memory serves me correctly, to 2005. So we are seeing improvements in culture.
As we talked about through the annual reports processes, we are seeing some areas where they are really taking a big leap forward. There are also areas where the service