26 September 2023

Troubled health workforce making progress

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The first three workforce wellbeing initiatives have been selected by Canberra Health Services (CHS) teams to support the ACT’s health workforce as part of an $8.5 million Health Workforce Wellbeing and Recovery Fund.

Announced by the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith, 12 inter-professional wellbeing working groups came together as part of a series of Staff Wellbeing Forums to present their ideas, with three ideas chosen for immediate roll out across the ACT.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the three selected co-designed initiatives are a restorative wellness space; a peer support program; and a Health Wellbeing Index app.

“This has been and continues to be an incredibly difficult time for our healthcare workers and these initiatives are evidence-based workforce designed ideas that will make a real difference to our frontline staff,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“It is really exciting to see the wellbeing teams using this funding and feeling empowered to come together to co-design the initiatives that are best for their workplaces to support wellness and recovery.”

She said the wellness space would provide a restorative area for self-care and reflection that was physically and deliberately separate from regular workspaces.

Ms Stephen-Smith said this would encourage health workers to check-in, take a break and receive support away from the pace and demands of the health service.

“The peer support program will offer a 24/7 access system in which trained peers can provide informal and confidential support, at short notice, to any CHS team members who are experiencing difficulties in the workplace or at home,” the Minister said.

“The Mayo Clinic’s Health Wellbeing Index App provides individuals and the organisation with a measurement of wellbeing,” she said.

“It also provides resources they can use if in distress, as well as deidentified data to pinpoint areas to executives that need support.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said a further nine initiatives would be implemented across CHS following the initial three.

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