Page 3767 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022

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know that staff have worked incredibly hard through training and go-live, but we are also already seeing the rewards of implementing a world-class system that will improve their experience of work. Already the Digital Health Record team have been able to see time saved and errors reduced across multiple areas. These include medication prescribing and administration, pathology draws, and information being provided by consumers ahead of appointments to assist with their care.

Across the system, across organisations and within professions, we are making our health system safer and more responsive to the needs of the health workforce each day. Through the 2022-23 ACT budget, we are continuing to build on health workforce planning activities through a nearly $6 million investment that will take a territory-wide health system approach. This will ensure we are aligning current workforce planning with national initiatives underway and take a broader view of the health sector to strengthen what we need now and in the future. In addition, we made a specific investment in maternity workforce planning to ensure we are sharply focused on maternity workforce sustainability into the future.

The ACT Health Workforce Strategy is currently undergoing stakeholder consultation with further co-design workshops, and will provide a vision and direction for developing both appropriate and adequate capacity and capability of the health workforce. The strategy includes all workforces to acknowledge the deep connections and needs among inter-professional teams. Working collaboratively with our industrial colleagues we are progressing new models of working to support our health professional teams and to provide a first step in a career pathway in our public health services.

We know career pathways are important parts of recruiting and retaining all staff in our health services. Research has shown undergraduate student models are highly effective and will provide additional support in our services, working as part of the healthcare team under supervision. This will not be a replacement for more experienced staff, but staff will have a supplementary role in the clinical environment, gaining valuable experience on top of their formal clinical placements. Through this work we can support our next generation of health professionals to stay in the ACT.

To ensure culture and engagement continues to improve, the government is also recruiting a clinical psychologist in our prevocational education and training team, who will provide dedicated psychological support to our JMO workforce, and assist to develop policies and procedures to support the JMO welfare and training program, and provide teaching on psychological techniques, particularly around debrief and critical incidents, including stress inoculation and self-care. We are commencing benchmarking of our welfare program against other hospitals to ensure we are providing a best-practice support program for JMOs, and streamlining JMO discharge processes and task lists via the implementation of the Digital Health Record.

In conclusion, there is no quick fix to these issues, but we have been and are seeing positive results. We are working with our incredible health workforce and taking a multi-pronged approach to addressing both past and current issues in the health system. Our workforce is the foundation of the health system, and we will continue to prioritise working with them to make ACT public health services great places to work.

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