Page 3986 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Thank you, minister, for your answer. Can you explain what a code black is, and how many code black emergencies have been called at the Canberra Hospital this year?
MS GALLAGHER: There are different codes with different colours; I cannot sit here and recite them for you. There is code yellow, there is code brown, there is code black and there are a number of others. They specifically relate to the level of incidence and the response that is required—whether it is security staff that are required, whether it is bed management staff that are required. There is a whole range of different responses. I am very happy to provide that to you. I think that in a question I took on notice in the last sitting you asked me about a code yellow in that instance. The codes are reacted quite frequently.
Mr Hanson: The food poisoning was code brown, wasn’t it?
MS GALLAGHER: The code brown related to the food poisoning. Yes, that is right. There are different colours, different codes, different responses. I am happy to provide that to the Assembly for information; I just do not have it on me at the moment.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.
MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it to plan for such incidents and how does the review process work?
MS GALLAGHER: Again, it depends on the nature of the code that was called and the nature of the incident that was being reported. I think the nature of incidents reported through, perhaps for risk band, can be around violence and aggression. It can be around clinical handover. It can be around falls in the hospital. There is a whole range of different situations that are reported as notifiable incidents that would be seen in this instance. There are critical incidents and then there is a whole range that is seen as responses to particular codes.
I would say that the hospital—I think every operational area of government—puts a lot of effort into managing its emergency plans and its responses to particular incidents. The hospital has always performed very well. When codes are enacted, they do work. Where there are shortfalls that are identified through the enactment of those codes, they are reviewed and system changes are made when required.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.
MR COE: Minister, what is the rationale for not reporting code break incidents publicly? What information in particular is of a sensitive nature?
MS GALLAGHER: Obviously, these are not matters for the executive arm of government. Freedom of information requests do not come before the executive, nor are they decided by the executive unless they specifically relate to the executive’s