Update 2 - Secretary, Department of Health
Progress is being made to improve the safety of children and young people in our health settings, including the implementation of recommendations made by the Governance Advisory Panel.
Independent oversight of the implementation has commenced, and the former co-chairs of the Governance Advisory Panel are meeting with the chairs of working groups and assessing the progress of implementation. Dr Maria Harries has also agreed to continue working with the independent oversight group and will be engaging with some of the lived experience participants. The independent oversight group will be providing regular feedback to the Secretary on progress. (Recommendation 91).
In the more than three months since the recommendations of the Review were delivered, significant organisational renewal and a reset of executive culture at the LGH has been actioned, noting that achieving cultural change is a continuous and multi-year effort. This includes the LGH executive and senior leadership team moving to implement a three-year cultural change and accountability framework program, with accountability right at the heart of restoring trust in the LGH.
As previously announced, we have appointed Jen Duncan as the new Chief Executive – Hospitals North, a newly-created position and a recommendation of the Review. Ms Duncan previously held a senior health position in New South Wales and in her new role, she is directly responsible for child safeguarding at the LGH and across Northern health services, also a recommendation of the Review.
We have undertaken a national search to recruit a new Executive Director of Medical Services, and a new Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, and will reset accountability and performance expectations for these roles, including child safeguarding performance measures. This is in addition to a new Director of Nursing (Women’s and Children’s) and a new Nurse Unit Manager being appointed to our Children and Paediatrics service.
We are also currently recruiting full-time Child Safeguarding Officers which will be based at each major hospital in Tasmania, including the LGH – another recommendation from the Review. (Recommendations 2, 3, 10, 11)
The rollout of the mandatory Foundations on The Safeguarding of Children and Young People’ e-learning module continues.
More than 6,800 employees have completed the training. All Executives and Managers have been asked to actively engage with their staff and ensure they have the opportunity and access to undertake the training.
Recognising that not all employees, especially those in clinical and clinical support roles, have easy access to computers, the Child Safety and Wellbeing Service has teamed up with IT to provide laptops to areas enabling staff to complete their Mandatory Safeguarding Children Training.
All DoH staff are required to have completed training by the end of June 2023, however, Recommendation 53 of the report required that all HR Business Partners complete the training by the end of February.
Our staff within Employee Relations, Injury Management, Work Health and Safety, Policy and Generalist teams all completed the mandatory training module by the end of February 2023 as per the recommendation.
To support the delivery of child safety mandatory training, the State-wide Mandatory Education, Training and Assessment policy has been updated and endorsed by the Department’s people and culture sub-committee and now includes child safe training within the list of mandatory training for all staff. (Recommendations 48, 49, 51, 52 and 53)
Finally, the Tasmanian State Service employee survey has now closed and thank you to all staff that took the time to participate. Survey results will help inform important work such as building our One Health Culture, as well as strengthening the recommendations from the Child Safe Review - Governance Advisory Panel (GAP) by contributing to a cultural baseline, including for the LGH. (Recommendation 26)
I am committed to driving large-scale change throughout the entire Department to ensure the safeguarding of children and young people is placed at the centre of their care. We must take action on what we have heard through the Commission of Inquiry process to ensure children are safe and feel safe in our hospitals and health services.