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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 456 ..


What the Leader of the Opposition’s question highlights is that it is really important to take a whole-of-hospital approach. It also highlights that it is really challenging to do that. The CEO of Canberra Health Services has spoken a number of times about how that is happening. She has spoken in particular about the timely care strategy, which is focused on a series of redesign and improvement initiatives to ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time in the right place.

CHS has really taken a methodological approach and developed targeted redesign and improvement initiatives. One of those, as I spoke about the other day, has been the full care discharge lounge, where people are able to be discharged from a ward to a lounge where they are still able to receive ongoing care. They do not need to be ambulatory and self-supporting to be in the discharge lounge if they are being discharged, for example, to residential aged-care facilities, a hospital in the home environment or a home environment where they are receiving carer support. That is something different. That has not been done in Canberra Hospital before. The Leader of the Opposition asked me what we are doing differently. That is different. The full care discharge lounge is up and running and has recently been expanded. It has been very successful.

MS LEE: Minister, what did Ms Gallagher and Ms Fitzharris get wrong with their whole-of-hospital approach that you will get right in your whole-of-hospital approach?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I have never suggested that previous ministers got anything wrong.

MRS JONES: Minister, will you stop using your buzzwords and give us a detailed plan of what will be done to meet your goal by the end of October 2021?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I refer Mrs Jones to my previous answer, where I detailed one initiative that is being done. Another one is whole ward huddles to identify patients who can be discharged in a timely way. And there is what is called a red to green strategy—I spoke about this the other day in the Assembly—about identifying the blockages to patient discharge, making sure that those are addressed, and ensuring that people take responsibility for the timely discharge of their patients.

I have also spoken about the emergency department redesign projects and the interaction between the emergency department and the rest of the hospital, in particular the new admission procedure from the emergency department to the wards, the direct admission procedure. That is something that is different. In fact, the director of the emergency department said that that is something that would not have been able to be done in Canberra Hospital in previous years.

It really speaks to the change in the culture of the hospital that the current CEO, Bernadette McDonald, and her leadership team are delivering, making sure that everybody understands that it is a whole-of-hospital responsibility to improve the timeliness of care and to improve the experience of patient care right across the hospital. Being discharged in a timely way is not only important in terms of


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