Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 November 2014) . . Page.. 3969 ..
MS PORTER: Minister, what will the changes to visiting hours at Canberra Hospital mean for patients and their families?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for her interest in this matter. Again, the idea behind the standardising of visiting hours is making sure that families, carers and friends are welcome in the hospital and are an important part of the support to be provided to patients.
As I said, from 1 December the new visiting hours at Canberra Hospital will be from six until nine where it is able to be delivered along clinical needs. It has certainly become apparent to me, and through the consumer feedback and a review of the inpatient guide, that visiting hours and rest periods across the wards at Canberra Hospital were inconsistent and certainly inconsistently applied. A pilot was conducted on the sixth floor to test the new hours, and guides developed for staff, visitors and patients. Again, this feedback has helped us take this decision that we think is in the interests of patients and staff that the hospital is open to family and friends throughout the large part of the day, from 6 am till nine.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, are these initiatives an admission that the concerns that have been raised by staff, by patients and by the opposition have now led to positive changes?
MS GALLAGHER: Certainly, as I said in the answer to my first question, they have been developed around the feedback that has been provided over the last 12 months or so. I think that is the responsible thing to do. Patients come; they provide feedback. Certainly, where there were themes emerging around the care and concerns around the care, the hospital responded. But this has all been trialled. It has been negotiated with staff. It has been developed with consumer feedback in mind. I think it is a very positive way of making sure that we continually improve a very busy, high quality health system.
Canberra Hospital—obstetrics unit
MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, on Friday, 20 November a report into the Canberra Hospital maternity unit by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was reported in the Canberra Times. That report stated:
Mismanagement and long-running cultural problems inside the Canberra Hospital maternity unit have put the health of patients at serious risk …
… doctor health has been compromised as staff levels tank …