Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3134 ..
This is a really important part of our engagement that we will be doing on a range of different projects. We are looking forward to hearing from the community, particularly in relation to William Hovell Drive, an important project for the future of the western side of Belconnen and the future residents of Ginninderra.
ACT Health—emergency department
MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, in January of this year you committed to having, within nine months, 70 per cent of emergency patients seen and admitted or discharged in four hours. The AMA’s public hospital report card released last week shows that the ACT has consistently, since 2011, had the worst performance on this measure, except for one year, in 2016-17. Minister, what was the difference in 2016-17?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: It was a very convoluted set of comparisons that Mr Milligan was making in his question. I will take the detail of that question on notice.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, why did you commit to having 70 per cent of patients seen on time, within nine months, and how on earth did you intend to achieve this during this time?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I think we have been through this in a previous question time. This was a part of a long conversation that I had with a journalist. It was quite a lengthy sit-down, where I talked about the plan that we had to get to meeting that target of 70 per cent of people being either admitted or discharged home within four hours. We had planned to do that, but there were a range of difficulties and challenges associated with that, which I also took the journalist through.
But in terms of Mr Milligan’s question on how we intend to do that, I have already talked about the additional investment that we have now made in the emergency department. One of the things that became really clear in the conversations with the emergency department was that they were seeking to put in place some changes to their models of care, but they needed some additional support, particularly in the establishment of the acute medical unit that they could admit into.
Otherwise, we have talked many times in this place about the timely care strategy that has been implemented within the Canberra Hospital, which includes: emergency department redesign projects that I have talked about; the establishment of daily hospital huddles with clinicians to identify areas that are under pressure and act accordingly—again, that is about the flow into the hospital: the admission rate—and discharge processes that identify appropriate patients and facilitate timely discharges before 9 am and throughout the day. That includes utilising discharge lounges, which increase the availability of beds across the system.
Of course, Calvary Public Hospital is also an important part of our system, and it has been implementing a targeted action plan to ensure high-quality, safe and efficient ED service, as well, including in strengthening the model of care with the aim of