Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2015) . . Page.. 2879 ..
Training Directorate. This new model was designed to meet the ongoing complexities of the healthcare needs of children with special needs whilst ensuring appropriate utilisation of our nursing resources across all ACT schools. The model was based on national and international best practice.
During the pilot project an additional registered nurse was placed at Woden School to meet the needs of one student with the understanding that the placement would be renewed pending the outcome of the pilot project. The pilot project resulted in the development of the healthcare access at schools, or HAAS, model. The HAAS model was considered a contemporary and sustainable solution for students with healthcare needs that are greater than can be managed by the Environment and Training Directorate’s self-management plans and first-aid policy.
The HAAS model offers individualised care plans tailored to each student’s health needs developed by a registered nurse in partnership with parents and in consultation with other health professionals. The HAAS model enables students to also receive healthcare support from learning support assistants who are already involved in classroom care of the student.
The LSAs were to be trained and assessed as competent in undertaking the health procedures by a registered nurse. The HAAS model proposed that nurses with higher level competency, level 2, be employed rather than the level 1 nurses under the existing specialist school nurse model. This was to account for the expanding role of the nurse from a focus only on providing care to a student to also providing healthcare education and training to the LSA and assessment.
Early in 2014 the former Minister Gallagher and Minister Burch agreed to transition from the specialist school nurse model to the HAAS model. This was to be implemented in both specialist and mainstream schools. As a result, over the year children with chronic and complex healthcare needs in mainstream schools were transitioned into the HAAS model.
Black Mountain and Woden schools were identified as the first two specialist schools that would transition to the HAAS model for the 2015 academic year. During the second half of 2014 students’ care needs were assessed, care plans developed and LSAs trained in preparation. In reality the one child with chronic and complex healthcare needs at Woden School was transitioned in the last term of last year.
In line with the HAAS model, the level 1 nurses—two at Black Mountain and one at Woden School—were replaced by two level 2 nurses serving Black Mountain, Woden and the mainstream schools. The role and number of LSAs was also expanded. Malkara and Cranleigh specialist schools did not transition to the HAAS model and currently provide health care to students under the specialist school nurse model—that is, they each currently have a dedicated level 1 registered nurse.
Early at the beginning of this school year concerns were raised by specialist school communities, including parents and unions, about the implementation of the HAAS model. Concerns related to the impact of the changes on the school’s capacity to respond to first aid or unexpected health incidents in the absence of a site-based nurse,