ACT Government releases final report into workplace culture in public health services

The ACT Government today released the final report from the Independent Review into Workplace Culture within ACT Public Health Services.

On 10 September 2018, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing announced the establishment of the review.

An interim report was released on 1 February 2019 which made 20 recommendations, most of which remain unchanged in the final report and have today been accepted in-principle by the ACT Government. The government will make a formal response to the report within three months.

The government is committed to working with staff and stakeholders to put the final recommendations into practice in a way that drives the real change we need to see, and share the independent panel’s belief that this will effect positive change to the workplace culture across the ACT public health system.

“While the Review into Workplace Culture has now concluded, it’s time to get on with implementing the recommendations made by the independent panel,” said Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris.

“More than 2,000 people took part in this review, which highlights the confidence and hope our staff, stakeholders, patients and the wider community placed in this process. The best way we can honour their contributions is by implementing these recommendations fully.

“Following the interim report last month, the panel engaged in a final round of consultation with key stakeholders. I’d like to thank those stakeholders for engaging in the process so openly, and look forward to working with them as we implement the recommendations.”

Minister Fitzharris said the primary focus of the government would be to implement the recommendations and convene the first meeting of the Cultural Review Oversight Group later this month to drive the implementation.

“I understand many people want to see change through this process, and that includes ensuring people are held to account. I can assure staff in our public health services that referrals have been made where there are serious cases of bullying and harassment, and they are being pursued.

“I am also determined to start implementing the review’s recommendations as soon as possible, with the independent panel identifying a number of processes that can begin immediately.

“In the coming weeks I also look forward to coming together with the Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury, ACT Health Director General, Canberra Health Services CEO and Calvary Public Hospital CEO to make a public commitment to collectively implement the review, which was recommended by the panel.

“We will also ensure there is a strong governance framework, with an Implementation Team to be established to develop a territory-wide project plan to implement the recommendations. We will also continue with the establishment of a Clinical Leadership Forum, which will provide independent and expert advice to the ministers on infrastructure and health services planning, clinical culture, and training and education.

“We clearly have a good program of work to get on with, and again, I’d like to thank the panel, Mr Mick Reid (Chair), Ms Fiona Brew and Professor David Watters for their professional and compassionate expertise and leadership as they have conducted this review,” said Minister Fitzharris.

The issue of culture within public health services has been raised as a concern at a national level. The ACT Government is leading other jurisdictions when it comes to addressing these concerns. To view the final report go to:

/Public Release. View in full here.