Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1599 ..
MS LAWDER: I am not sure I have ever said anything different.
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, allow Ms Lawder to ask the question.
MS LAWDER: Our nurse-led walk-in centres are an important part of our healthcare system for people seeking medical advice or assistance, especially of a more minor nature. Minister, do you collect data on the number of presentations to these centres and the effect this has on reducing presentations to emergency departments? If so, will you release that data?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Presentations to walk-in centres are released every quarter in the quarterly performance report, as are numbers in relation to how many people who present at walk-in centres are fully treated at the walk-in centre or are referred to the emergency department. It is hard to accurately determine how many people would have otherwise gone to the emergency department. That is something that we continue to work on. Certainly anecdotally a lot of people indicate that they would have gone to an emergency department if the walk-in centre was not an available option.
MS LAWDER: I have a supplementary question. Minister, how are you improving communication with the community about what injuries and illnesses are appropriate to be treated at the nurse-led walk-in centres to reduce presentations at emergency departments?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Lawder for the question; it is a good one. We continue to try to use social media and other channels to get information out to people. Whenever a new walk-in centre is opened, information is sent out to the local community about the centre that is opening and the services that it has available. We regularly use ACT and Canberra Health Services social media channels. We encourage people to download the ACT Health app, and I would certainly encourage all members of this place, when they are talking to their constituents, to encourage them to download the ACT Health app, which not only gives information about waiting times and locations of the walk-in centres but also gives information about what our fabulous nurses at the walk-in centres can treat in terms of minor injuries and illnesses.
We also have a commitment to looking at how we can expand the scope of practice of the fantastic nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses who work in our walk-in centres. We are committed to increasing the number of nurse practitioners at our walk-in centres because walk-in centres are a fantastic ACT Labor initiative. It is something that we are very proud of. We are very pleased that the Canberra Liberals have finally embraced them in the way that Canberrans have, and we will continue to expand on them and improve.
MRS JONES: Minister, what number of the health walk-in centres promised at the election will be nurse-led walk-in centres?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: The commitment at the election was an additional five of what we call walk-in health centres. We were very clear throughout the election