The Tasmanian Government has launched a child safe governance review at the Launceston General Hospital, following the harrowing evidence of abuse being presented at the powerful Commission of Inquiry last week.
“…while we look forward to the Commission’s recommendations next year, we will not be waiting to take action where it is clear it is needed,” Premier and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff said on Sunday.
“The Panel will comprise independent experts in child trauma, governance and hospital administration.
“We expect this will result in significant changes to leadership roles.”
Recommendations are due to be handed to the Health Secretary in November.
The announcement of the review has been welcomed by various stakeholders, including unions and the AMA.
“The proposed inclusion of clinical staff, victim survivor representatives and independent oversight is welcomed by the ANMF as it will provide a voice to those who have had to fight so hard and display enormous courage to date to get to the point where Governance at the LGH can be reviewed,” Australian Nursing and Midwifery Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd said.
“While we cannot pre-empt the findings of the Commission of Inquiry, it is important that action is taken sooner rather than later to strengthen governance arrangements and look at the role of Human Resources in supporting the employer and employees to navigate issues pertaining to the employment of individuals and complaint processes,” Australian Medical Association Tasmania President John Saul said.
“We need to understand the ability of HR to act when a serious complaint is raised against an employee, while also balancing the need for natural justice principles to be upheld.
“We would also call upon the Premier to consider extending the review to examine the role of the State Service Management Office and employment directives that can impact on government departments being able to manage staff appropriately according to the circumstances.”
Separately, the LGH is also battling another COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in the closure of two wards.
Wards 3R and 5D are off limits to visitors and no admissions for the time being, after several patients returned positive coronavirus test results.
“All visitors to the [rest of the] hospital are reminded that they must answer screening questions before entering, wear a mask and not attend if they are unwell,” Acting Regional Health Commander, Dr Alasdair MacDonald said.