Leaders of ACT public health system welcome Interim Report on workplace culture

Released 01/02/2019

The ACT Health Directorate, Canberra Health Services and Calvary have today welcomed the release of the Interim Report of the Independent Review into the Workplace Culture within ACT Public Health Services.

The Independent Review has been important for our public health system and for the staff who work in our health services.

The Interim Report is being taken very seriously. All recommendations have been agreed to in-principle, noting that this is an interim report, with the Government to formally respond to the final report and ACT Health to lead a territory-wide response.

The implementation of recommendations will be supported by the establishment of a new Implementation Steering Group and Team.

The Steering Group will include the Director-General of ACT Health and the CEO’s of Canberra Health Services and Calvary to ensure work continues to be given the highest priority across the organisations. Recruitment of the Implementation Team, which will operate for three years, will begin shortly.

The Minister for Health and Wellbeing will also chair a high-level Cultural Review Oversight Committee which will be tasked with overseeing the implementation process and ensuring that momentum in delivering recommendations is maintained.

In addition, ACT Health, Canberra Health Services and Calvary will continue to work with the Independent Review Panel to better understand areas of concern identified as part of the Interim Report and develop further initiatives to address specific issues raised.

ACT Health Directorate Director-General Michael De’Ath said ACT Health was absolutely committed to improving workplace culture and staff engagement across our public health services.

“The Interim Report released today provides the opportunity to effect real change within the working environments of our health services,” Mr De’Ath said.

“We are taking the report’s findings very seriously. Through the governance processes that will be established, we will ensure recommendations are implemented effectively and efficiently. We will also ensure staff are appropriately engaged in the process.

“We have a lot of dedicated and hardworking people within our organisations and it’s important that we acknowledge the many positives that are highlighted in the Interim Report.

“With the work that has been underway over the past 12 months, we are already seeing a shift towards a more positive workforce culture. I am pleased to see that this has been recognised in the Report. We will continue to build on this as we begin to implement the recommendations.

“We thank all the staff who have participated in the Review process and who provided submissions.”

Canberra Health Services CEO Ms Bernadette McDonald said it was clear from the Interim Report that while the organisation has made significant inroads to address culture issues, there was still much work to do.

“To continue providing the high standard of care Canberrans have come to expect from our public health system, we must care for the people who deliver it,” Ms McDonald said.

“Ensuring staff feel valued, can express their views without fear or favour and can work together effectively is of the utmost importance for me as the CEO.

“Initiatives already underway to address workplace culture include the introduction of an Employee Advocate role, regular staff forums and the formation of an Occupational Violence Working Group.

“Over the next three months, we will progress the development of vision and values for Canberra Health Services as a new organisation. The outcomes from the Independent Review will inform this work.”

The Regional Chief Executive Officer Calvary ACT Ms Barbara Reid said her organisation would work closely with ACT Health to support the implementation of recommendations at Calvary services.

“The Calvary Values of Hospitality, Healing, Stewardship and Respect must be central to everything we do. Our staff have the right to work in a respectful environment where they are valued and free from harm,” Ms Reid said.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to staff we are making enhancements to our incident reporting systems so that staff can directly select the manager or executive officer to whom incident notifications are made.

“We are also establishing a Respect, Equity and Diversity Contact Officer Network to provide confidential advice to staff on options available to address workplace issues. Enhanced training for managers on the early intervention and effective management of workplace issues has commenced.”

- Statement ends -

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