Page 3164 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 22 August 2012

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DR BOURKE: I look forward to the contribution of parents of children with particular learning difficulties, including dyslexia, to the task force and I am sure that they will be offering their opinions to the task force. I look forward to the analysis of the task force and their conclusions, which will be sent to me.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary.

MS BRESNAN: Minister, will you commit to making the work of the task force and any findings public?

DR BOURKE: Yes. I am very keen that everybody should know what the evidence is about what is best teaching practice for children with learning difficulties, including dyslexia. I am very keen that parents should know what works, and that teachers should know what works as well. So yes, of course this will be made public.

Canberra Hospital—safety checks

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, a minute written by Elizabeth Trickett, who is the executive director of the quality and safety unit at ACT Health, on 23 March this year stated:

Six observational audits have been conducted to date and have highlighted that the safety checks are not always being performed. This is a significant risk for surgical patients and the organisation.

Minister, given that for half of all surgical patients safety checks are not being conducted, how can Canberrans be confident that when they are operated on at the Canberra Hospital these safety checks have been carried out?

MS GALLAGHER: I welcome the opportunity to talk about the surgical safety checklist. Mr Hanson’s question, unsurprisingly, has in it something that is not true. He alleges that the safety checks are not being conducted. That is not the reality. What is not happening to the full compliance is that the checklist is not being completed. That does not mean—

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: This is a very important difference, and I know it is a difference that Mr Seselja will refuse to accept, but there are a range of steps and a range of safety checks and patient checks that are done in the lead-up to an operation proceeding, of which one of them—just one—is asking the surgeons to fill out a relatively simple safety checklist.

What we have seen is that we have a range of compliance—from 100 per cent, as I understand it, in orthopaedics, to very low compliance in areas like plastic surgery. The whole reason you do the audits—let me just say the patient safety and quality unit is something this government established after you, when you were last in government, allowed Dr Newcombe to continue to practise because you did not have the patient safety and quality processes in hospital in place.

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