27 September 2023

New health panel to drive kids’ healthcare

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The ACT Minister for Health has announced that a new expert panel is to be set up to support planning and improving healthcare services for Canberra’s children and young people.

The Minister, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the Child and Adolescent Clinical Services Expert Panel will provide high level oversight and independent expertise and will as well oversee the finalisation of the Child and Adolescent Clinical Services Plan.

“The Expert Panel will also focus on bringing together actions and recommendations from recent reviews and ongoing initiatives to ensure ACT health services are delivering high-quality care and planning for the future needs of children, adolescents and their families from Canberra and the surrounding region,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“Across the ACT’s health services, there is a lot of work happening to improve and strengthen existing health services and programs for children, adolescents and their families,” she said.

“The Expert Panel will support this work with a focus on examining forecast population needs, considering areas for service expansion and improving integration between primary, specialist, acute and interstate clinical services.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the Panel would take into account factors like workforce planning and professional development, as well as monitoring the implementation of the Canberra Health Services’ paediatric operational and service plan developed in 2021 and the Kids Interstate Shared Care Project.

She said the Expert Panel would be led by an independent chair and include experts with clinical experience in paediatrics, a consumer representative, and academics, along with other key stakeholders.

“The Panel will engage with consumers, health care specialists and teams, children’s service networks, non-government organisations and other ACT Government Agencies involved in the care of children and adolescents,” the Minister said.

“We understand that families, carers and the wider community want to know how we are addressing the clinical service needs of Canberra’s children and young people,” she said.

“The Expert Panel will bring further transparency and accountability to this work by sharing information with the community as we progress.”

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