January 05, 2021

Safer Care Victoria Pilot Ombuds Program Yields Benefits

In March 2019, the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services launched an Independent Facilitator program to provide "independent, neutral and confidential resource for employees [with] workplace issues, concerns or complaints." Lisa Klug and Kim Ledger were appointed the Independent Facilitators for the trial period, which ended in October 2020. A report from Safer Care Victoria shows the program was a success, but there is no information about whether the program will be continued. 

Here's a summary of the key outcomes:
  1. The IF model delivered benefits for the healthcare staff who used the service and for the health services.

  2. During the 19-month trial, 207 healthcare staff visited the IF over more than 600 visits. The majority of staff accessing the service were nurses and management/administration/corporate staff.

  3. Of the 104 staff who responded to an anonymous and voluntary survey:
    99 per cent felt the IF was independent
    98 per cent agreed the IF helped them clarify their concern(s)
    96 per cent were satisfied with the information, resources and tools provided by the IF
    85 per cent agreed the IF helped them to navigate internal and external complaints processes and explore available options (if applicable)
    85 per cent felt more confident in managing their workplace concern(s) after meeting with the IF.
  4. Staff reported the IF had made a real difference; they felt empowered and equipped to more constructively manage their workplace concern(s). For some, the IF’s support enabled them to remain at the health service and develop valuable conflict management skills. 

  5. The health services also reported that quarterly meetings and reports with SCV and the IF supported their efforts to provide a safe, fair, positive, and respectful workplace for staff. De-identified information gathered by the IF helped them to address staff concerns, enabled them to improve policies and procedures, and supported training for staff and managers on conflict management and raising awareness of the importance of speaking up.

  6. By supporting staff in a safe and confidential setting and supporting staff to explore their options, the IF can build capacity across the organisation for early intervention by promoting and supporting informal resolution of workplace conflict and preventing escalation to more formal channels.

Prior: Job Posting; Independent Facilitators Serve as Organizational Ombuds for Safer Care Victoria.

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