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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1103 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

The life of this plan began in November 1996 with the previous Government's policy statement Moving Ahead. Much consultation has taken place since that time, including the important work of the Social Policy Committee inquiry into the adequacy of mental health services. In February this year the Department of Health and Community Care released a draft plan as a basis for a major public consultation process. The draft was developed with the assistance of the Mental Health Council. Over 650 copies were distributed, six focus groups were conducted and 21 written submissions were received.

The strategic plan describes a national and local policy context, outlines data available on the mental health status of the ACT population, provides a profile of existing services and service utilisation, identifies existing financial and human resources, defines objectives, strategies and actions for the next three years, and details revenue and expenditure projections. It builds a broad framework for all services, government and non-government, which will support partnerships and develop best practice service provision. This plan is a living document, Mr Speaker, and its objectives, its strategies and actions will be reviewed each year to ensure that they reflect the latest priorities and availability of resources. The Department of Health and Community Care, together with the stakeholders, will also develop a set of performance indicators for the plan, and these are expected to be ready by December 1998. The indicators will be used to assess the plan yearly, followed by the specific review of the objectives, strategies and actions. At the end of the 2000-01 financial year the plan will be formally evaluated.

Mr Speaker, I spoke to members of the Health and Community Care Committee, which Mr Wood chairs, and indicated that I hoped to be able to present this to the Assembly and refer it to their committee. I sought to refer it to the committee partly because of discussions I had with Ms Tucker, who requested that we do so. I suggested that the work does not need to be done again, but it is important to assess whether the Government has got it right. I hope that that committee will have an important input into this plan. We look forward to the committee reporting to the Assembly.

MR WOOD (5.34): Mr Speaker, as chair of the committee, I acknowledge the approach that Mr Moore made on this issue. We will look at the plan with interest. There may need to be just a little more approach to the community to confirm that the plan is widely accepted. Certainly, I welcome it as an important document, and I look forward to processing it as quickly as the committee can.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (5.35): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the summary report, recommendations and actions following the investigation of the serious adverse incident at the Canberra Hospital, Mental Health Services, on 1 May 1998, prepared by Dr Peter Doherty, and I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

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