Page 431 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 16 February 2016

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We have also made sure that the design of the unit has occurred in consultation with key mental health clinicians and mental health consumers. We want to make sure that our medical and nursing staff have the facility structures the way they need them to provide a caring and calming environment for people who are distressed as a result of a mental illness or other mental condition. So it is a great outcome.

I am very pleased to see it commissioned and operational, and that, in combination with the world-class facilities we have at our adult mental health unit, means that we really are, I think, delivering at the benchmark we need to deliver for people who suffer mental illness and other mental conditions.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you please outline to the Assembly the benefits of the new paediatric streaming areas that you mentioned and the clinical forensic medical service within the new emergency department?

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the minister, supplementary questions have to be directly relevant to the original question or to matters that arise out of answers to the original question. I am open to correction but I do not know whether at any time in the question or the discussion in answers there has been reference to any forensic health facilities in ED. I rule the first part in order and the second part out of order.

MR CORBELL: They are all about the expansion of the ED, Madam Speaker, but I accept your ruling. The new paediatric streaming facilities which are being delivered in the ED provide a specialised area for young patients—young children predominantly—and their families, their parents and carers, who need to bring them to the ED for emergency care.

There is a lot of trauma and stress associated with an emergency department from time to time. This can be difficult enough for adults, but for children it can be particularly traumatic. So we will have a dedicated waiting room, a private waiting room, for families with young children. They will have a small play space in there, separate from the main waiting area. There will be, if you like, a sub-waiting area that these families can be directed to. This will allow them to be separate from some of those other parts of the ED. Then we will have six dedicated patient treatment bays, two consultation rooms and separate bathroom facilities with a parents’ facility as part of that.

This is a really important capacity. We are grateful for the commonwealth government’s support for this element of the project. They have contributed approximately $5 million to assist with this element of that ED expansion. That is a good outcome for Canberrans and a good outcome for parents, carers and young children, because it is designed to improve patient outcomes. If young people are calm, if children are calm and less stressed, they are going to respond better to treatment, and care will be able to be provided more effectively and efficiently. It is a very good outcome for families and their children. We look forward to seeing that project delivered in the coming months.

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