Page 1914 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 27 June 2023

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The plan covers the transition period, including the days before the date of acquisition. The transition team’s focus is on the tasks critical to a safe handover of business ownership that ensure the workforce is supported and patient safety is maintained. Those activities include: ensuring staff are onboarded to Canberra Health Services and any gaps are managed; contracts or agreements for critical services are in place; team members are well informed regarding what is required of them, and systems are in place to support their work; ICT systems critical for service provision are in place and team members have necessary access; and necessary licenses for operating are
in place.

While there has been, and remains, much to do before 3 July, it is important to note there is an array of activities that can be completed over the next 12 months. Over the past weeks, the territory’s appointed senior executive for the transition has met almost daily with Calvary Health Care’s appointed senior executive for the transition to focus on the critical activities required before 3 July.

An area of much interest, both in this Assembly and in the broader community, has been the future of Clare Holland House. Madam Speaker, following extensive discussions, the ACT government and Calvary Health Care have mutually agreed that the operation of Clare Holland House will transition to Canberra Health Services from 3 July.

The ACT government and Calvary have worked together to understand the complexities of Clare Holland House. There are substantial connections with the public hospital, including staffing and support services that have been established to support an integrated model. As such, it was agreed that access to public palliative care services in the territory is best supported by Clare Holland House remaining directly connected with the public hospital. This will ensure continuity of care for patients with life-limiting illness, and we believe it is in the best interests of patients, carers, families and the workforce to ensure the integrated model of care is preserved.

This model of care is highly valued by patients, families and staff. Both the ACT government and Calvary Health Care are committed to ensuring the ongoing delivery of this nation-leading care in a seamless way during the transition. The ACT government and Calvary will continue to work closely together to ensure a safe and smooth transition of Clare Holland House to Canberra Health Services on 3 July, and in the weeks following, recognising that the transition will continue beyond acquisition day.

I acknowledge that this has been a difficult decision for Calvary Health Care, which has been providing specialised palliative care services to Canberrans since 1995, with hospice services provided at Clare Holland House in Grevillea Park since 2001. I thank Calvary for the support and care they have provided to people with life-limiting illness in the ACT.

This has also been a difficult and anxious time for team members at Clare Holland House as well as their patients and the community. Our commitment to Clare Holland House team members is that they will be able to continue doing the same job in the same team with the same manager on the same pay and conditions.

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