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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3653 ..

MS GALLAGHER: I think the clinical risk that the report goes to there is around workloads for those doctors. So we have increased the resources in this area.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Minister, why did it take a damning review into this unit before you became aware of potential clinical risks to patients?

MS GALLAGHER: The way that we have monitored clinical risks across the hospital has been through the data that is submitted every six months against reports of performance at the hospital. As I said in this chamber last night, on any independent measure of the clinical outcomes at the maternity service, in 17 of 18 indicators it meets or exceeds every single indicator. I think the review points to the fact that workloads needed to be addressed in order to avoid clinical risk to patients due to heavy workloads of staff. We have addressed that, but in terms of clinical outcomes, that unit maintains the best outcomes across the territory.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. In the interests of comparison around clinical risk, with the exception of the maternity provision, what other medical disciplines in the hospital are there that have their clinical risk addressed?

MS GALLAGHER: Any hospital monitors risk to patient safety. We have established the patient safety and quality unit at the hospital specifically for that purpose. We have very rigorous audit processes. We have the clinical audit committee. We have the clinical privileges committee. We have the clinical review committee. All adverse incidents at the hospital will go through a very rigorous process of analysis from senior clinicians who agree to sit on those committees.

Also, if there are clinical concerns from staff, they can be raised through these committees and be addressed. That may be about an individual’s own clinical performance or some of the risks due to workload. These are monitored through Riskman, which has actually won a number of awards around the country for the processes that are available for staff at the hospital to identify and record risks, whether it be to OH&S, whether it be to patients, whether it be to their own individual situation.

I think the work that has been put in, particularly since the neurosurgery cases at the hospital and the reviews that came out of that and the processes that have been established, has been very rigorous to ensure that if there are clinical risks to patients, they are picked up early and they are addressed early. I am very confident that the systems at Canberra Hospital meet those challenges.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how will you ensure that the systems you put in place will ensure that you are made aware of staffing procedures

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