Health Directorate

ACT Health recognises that building an effective healthcare system requires genuine collaboration between consumers, carers and ACT Health staff. ACT Health is committed to providing opportunities for consumers and carers—those who are most affected by healthcare services—to influence the development, delivery and review of services. Increasing the participation of consumers and carers in health care is fundamental to building strong partnerships. The quality of care ACT Health provides is higher as a result of meaningful consumer and carer involvement in policy development and planning of health services.

ACT Health already has in place an extensive range of established practices and initiatives that demonstrate its ongoing commitment to consumer and carer participation. Examples of these include:

  • Listening and Learning: Consumer Feedback Policy and Standards
  • Relationships with consumer advocacy agencies through service funding agreements
  • Respecting Patient’s Choices program.
Project Summary
ACT Maternity Hand Held Record The maternity hand-held record work was undertaken in consultation with the Maternity Services Advisory Network which includes representation from Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA).
Development of the ACT Health Consumer and Carer Participation Guide The project to develop the ACT Health Consumer and Carer Participation Guide has been undertaken in partnership with Carers ACT, Health Care Consumers’ Association, and ACT Mental Health Consumer Network.
The partnership has developed a draft ACT Health Consumer and Carer Participation Guide.
Consultation on development of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan The draft ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan: priorities for the next five years 2016–2020 was released for public consultation via the ACT Government’s consultation website Time to Talk, from 1 April 2016 to 13 May 2016.
Responses were received from 18 health and community service organisations. Feedback from the consultation process is being used to inform development of the final document, due for release in late 2016.
Draft ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy 2016–20 The draft ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy 2016-20 was released for public consultation via ACT Government’s Time to Talk website from Friday 6 November to Thursday 17 December 2015.
Approximately 26 people/organisations provided feedback which was considered and changes incorporated where relevant. This work was led by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Strategy Evaluation Group chaired by ACT Health.
The group includes representation from the community sector and Government through the Community Services Directorate, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate, the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and ACT Policing.
Mental Health Amendment Bill 2016 The development of this Bill was supported by an Advisory committee comprised of a mental health consumer, mental health carer, and representatives from ACT Corrective Services, ACT Forensic Mental Health Service, Human Rights Commission, CSD Child and Youth Protection Services.
A broader consultation was undertaken with the draft Bill and draft Explanatory Statement and included round table discussions for mental health consumers and separately for mental health carers.
The feedback from these forums led to changes that improved the draft of the Bill.
Mental Health (Secure Facilities) Bill 2016 The development of the Bill was guided by regular roundtable discussions with a number of organisations.
Discussions detailed conversations with specific organisations and their particular focus. This included the Mental Health Consumer Network, Carers ACT, Mental Health Community Coalition, Public Advocate, Human Rights Commissioner and Legal Aid ACT.
Feedback from various discussions with these bodies had a significant impact on the content and philosophy of the Bill.
ACT Health and ACT Mental Health Community Coalition (MHCC) community sector forums ACT Health Mental Health Policy Unit and the MHCC (ACT Mental Health Community sector peak body) held a number of forums with executive officers and senior managers of contracted mental health community organisations in preparation for reviewing the community sector, mapping mental health community sector requirements of ACT Health and the requirement to test the market for such services through a procurement process within the next three years.
The forums were held in October and December 2015 and February and April 2016. The Capital Health Network participated in the last two forums as they have an overlapping role to commission mental health services within the community.
Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Sexually Transmissible Infections: ACT Statement of Priorities 2016–2020 ACT Health, via the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Sexual Health, HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and Related Diseases (SHAHRD), conducted two community consultation processes to inform development of the ACT response to the five national sexually transmissible infections and blood borne virus strategies. This included development and release of a discussion paper, a call for written submissions, and face-to-face community consultation. Key stakeholders included:
  • ACT Health, including the Canberra Sexual Health Centre and relevant units within the Policy and Government Relations Branch and Population Health Division
  • the sexual health and blood borne virus sector, including relevant non-governmental organisations and SHAHRD.
The ACT Statement was officially launched by Assistant Minister for Health Meegan Fitzharris MLA on 23 June 2016.
Development of an ACT Model of Palliative Care The aim of the project was to develop a Model of Palliative Care for the ACT and surrounding region that addressed issues raised by stakeholders, and would be useful to those interested in palliative care in the region.
A mix of qualitative and quantitative data was identified and evaluated and analysed against the Palliative Care Services Plan 2013–17.
Stakeholders consulted included:
  • ACT Palliative Care Committee
  • ACT Model of Palliative Care Working Group
  • Palliative Care Clinical Network
  • Health Service Executives
  • ACT Health
  • The Canberra Hospital
  • Calvary Health Care
  • ACT Primary Health Network
  • Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service
  • Health Care Consumers’ Association of the ACT
  • Calvary Centre for Palliative Care Research
  • Southern NSW LHD.
Engagement with stakeholders was conducted through face-to-face meetings with small group discussions, one-on-one face-to-face and telephone interviews and online surveys.
The ACT Model of Palliative Care was successfully completed and accepted by the ACT Palliative Care Clinical Network and ACT Health in May 2016.
University of Canberra Public Hospital (UCPH) The Service Delivery and Care Summary outlined the clinical services and support services that will be provided at the hospital. It outlined eligibility criteria for Aged Care and Rehabilitation services and discussed the next steps in the planning process.
The Service Delivery and Care Summary was developed to reflect the content of a larger body of work in a more accessible way. This work includes the:
  • UCPH Model of Service Delivery
  • Rehabilitation Aged and Community Care UCPH Model of Care
  • Adult Mental Health Rehabilitation unit Model of Care
  • Adult Mental health Day Service Model of Care.
The Mental Health Models of Care underwent public consultation in 2014 and had been finalised through the ACT Health approval processes.
Feedback on the Mental Health models of care was not sought in this process.
The final design of the facility along with the outcomes from this consultation on the Service Delivery and Care Summary are guiding detailed work into how services will function within the spaces of the facility to provide high quality, patient centred care.
ACT Health was interested in hearing the community’s views on the intended operation and function of the services within the facility.
eHealth and Clinical Records Branch The eHealth and Clinical Records branch has continued to engage with the Healthcare Consumers Association of the ACT through participation in bi-monthly ACT eHealth Consumer Reference Group meetings.
In addition, consumer representatives are engaged as steering committee members for a number of key consumer-focussed eHealth projects.
Population Health Division Between September and November 2015, ACT Health coordinated a consultation to seek community feedback on ways to increase the availability and promotion of healthy food and drinks, and reduce the marketing of unhealthy food and drinks, particularly marketing aimed at children.
The consultation was designed to reach a broad range of stakeholders with an interest in these issues via a Time to Talk online survey, email, pre-paid postcards and social media.
Targeted and facilitated forums for businesses, the community, sporting clubs and event organisers were held. The consultation attracted over 500 responses. The ACT Government is considering its response to the consultation findings.
In July 2015 the Health Protection Service conducted targeted stakeholder consultation on proposed changes to the legislative framework for prescribing controlled medicines in the ACT. Input from this consultation will inform future policy response and legislative changes anticipated for mid-2016.
The Health Protection Service as part of a consultation process requested input from stakeholders into the introduction of pharmacist vaccination of influenza in the ACT. Following this consultation amendments were made to the legislation that enabled pharmacists to inject adult patients with influenza vaccine from 1 March 2016.
The HPS conducted a public consultation on Outdoor Smoke-Free Areas from 5 November to 17 December 2015. Interested parties were invited to respond to a discussion paper via written submission or online survey.
The consultation sought community feedback on the need for new smoke-free areas at public play spaces/playgrounds, skate parks, bus stops and bus stations, public building entrances, sporting events, and outdoor public swimming pools that are privately owned. 103 complete submissions were received:
  • 93 from individuals
  • 6 from public health organisations
  • 2 from the sport/leisure industry
  • 1 from the tobacco industry
  • 1 from a community organisation.
Respondents were strongly supportive of new smoke-free areas at each of the public places in the consultation, with support ranging from 73 per cent of respondents for outdoor public swimming pools to 91 per cent of respondents for bus stops and bus stations.
Outcomes from the consultation will be used to help prioritise locations for new smoke-free areas in the ACT and assist in their implementation.

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