26 September 2023

Mental Health Unit inquiry accepted

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The ACT Government has accepted all the recommendations from the recent Inquiry into Dhulwa Secure Mental Health Unit in Symonston which the inquiry found it suffered from a persistent and pervasive poor safety culture.

Releasing the response to the Inquiry’s report, the Minister for Mental Health, Emma Davidson said that as all recommendations had been accepted without qualification, an Independent Oversight Board would be appointed to oversee their implementation.

“The inquiry brought together feedback from a wide range of stakeholders including clinicians, consumers, current and former staff and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF),” Ms Davidson said.

“Implementing the 25 recommendations will help drive systems change and workforce engagement to manage clinical and Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) risks and improve safety and the quality of clinical care,” she said.

“We are working with Canberra Health Services, representatives of staff, and of patients and carers, to make Dhulwa the place it should be.”

Ms Davidson said that Chair of the Inquiry into Legislative, Workplace Governance and Clinical Frameworks at the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit, Barbara Deegan would lead the Independent Oversight Board.

“Ms Deegan is a former Commissioner of the Fair Work Commission and Commissioner of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission,” the Minister said.

“The Board will also have representation from the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation, forensic mental health nursing expertise, Carers ACT, Mental Health Consumers and the Health Services Commissioner,” she said.

“The Board will also be attended by Canberra Health Services and the Office of Industrial Relations and Workforce Strategy,” she said.

Further information on the Inquiry’s findings can be accessed in this PS News article.

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