August has certainly been an action-packed month!
Our 2018 Annual Professional Conference and Annual Delegates Conference, both held at our very own conference centre, started us off in exceptional form. We have covered some of the key presentations in this month’s news. These articles only touch the surface of the powerful and stimulating presentations we experienced over the three conference days. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are presently seeking formal feedback to help us plan an even better event next year.
Also last month, the Chairs of the Boards for each of the metropolitan Local Health Networks were announced, signalling the start of the transition to new governance arrangements for our public health system.
Consultation continued over the services to be provided at Modbury Hospital in the North and commenced over future uses of The Repat site in the South. Although there are very different options and issues being considered in both cases, there are similarities that need to be addressed. These common considerations include patient safety, co-requisites in facilities and services, staff availability to meet the service requirements and the impact on other services in the relevant regions. We will continue to make submissions to those reviews that focus on meeting the needs of the community within a safe and cost-effective model of care.
Central Adelaide Local Health Network announced it had engaged consultancy firm Korda Mentha to help it meet its recovery plan, to address the current and projected budget deficits and performance issues. We have met with CALHN and the consultants and will make positive contributions aimed at ensuring that the new hospital is as effective and efficient as it can be into the future.
Our aged care campaign to secure safe staffing levels and skill mix has continued with an increasing focus on the forthcoming federal election due in the first half of 2019. From now until election day, we expect to campaign for commitments to legislate for minimum staff-to-resident staffing levels and an increased proportion of registered and enrolled nurses to meet the increasing needs of aged care residents in the years ahead. We will be moving into a period of increased public and community campaigning in the weeks and months to come, particularly in the federal electorate of Boothby; the state’s most marginal seat. Look out for opportunities to play an active role in that campaign.
I have continued with my own workplace visits program as part of my personal commitment to be ‘with you at work and in practice.’ I continue to value these visits highly – meeting with you is not only inspiring and informative, but also serves as a way to ensure that our services and advocacy are meeting your needs as members.
As with most months, August has presented us with both opportunities and challenges. We will continue to work with you in order to capitalise on opportunities and address the challenges in the interests of providing effective health and aged care services to the public in the years ahead.
Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM