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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 13 May 2021) . . Page.. 1481 ..


I thank Mrs Jones for raising this matter in the Assembly. The ACT government has, of course, made a significant commitment to culture reform in the ACT public health system, and I am pleased to have an opportunity to be able to talk about this very important issue.

There are more than 8,000 people working across the ACT public health system, and making sure that we are getting the culture right for our staff, consumers and everyone who enters our services is crucial. Ensuring effective workplace culture reform requires sustained effort and resourcing over an extended period of time. That is why, in responding to the review, the ACT government committed $4 million a year over three years to the implementation of these recommendations to the period end of June 2022.

The issues that underpin culture across the ACT public health system are complex. For this reason, the government has taken a considered and strategic approach to improving culture. We recognise that culture change benefits everyone, and our primary goal continues to be one of creating an environment in which our workforce feels supported and valued in delivering exceptional health care.

To date, as Mrs Jones indicated, we have in fact completed seven of the 20 recommendations across the system from the Independent review into the workplace culture within ACT public health services final report and have made significant progress on addressing the remaining recommendations.

To date, the following recommendations have been completed: recommendation 5—review mechanisms to better integrate clinical streams of the community health services within the clinical divisional structures in CHS; recommendation 10—clear requirement for senior clinicians to collaboratively participate in clinical governance activities; recommendation 11—Choosing Wisely program; recommendation 12—clinically qualified divisional directors across each clinical division with business manager support within CHS; recommendation 17—the public commitment that was made by the previous minister, by me and by all members of the culture review oversight group; recommendation 18—the establishment of the culture review oversight group; and recommendation 20—change management and communications strategy.

This is not just a question of 20 straightforward actions made as recommendations. Many of the recommendations were high level. The culture review oversight group, the steering committee and the team working on this have identified 92 actions in order to fully address the 20 recommendations outlined in the independent review, to be completed primarily by the culture review implementation team in the ACT Health Directorate as a system-wide response to the review and in partnership with the ACT Health Directorate and Canberra Health Services, and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce—the third arm of the ACT public health system that was considered in the review. Other actions identified by the review are being completed individually by Canberra Health Services and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce to ensure that local, contextualised actions are addressing the specific needs of our health system.


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