State cannot assure safety
MELBOURNE: Seven years after a cluster of baby deaths at a Victorian hospital, the Department of Health still cannot assure the system’s safety and quality.
In 2016, a scathing review found 11 babies died potentially avoidable deaths at Djerriwarrh Health Service at Bacchus Marsh between 2001 and 2014.
Their deaths triggered a massive overhaul of the state’s health system. But a report tabled by the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office yesterday found the Department of Health had implemented only one of the 11 capability frameworks it agreed to carry out.
The reason, according to a letter from the department to VAGO, is because staff had been deployed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The VAGO report found the Department of Health had made some clinical governance improvements since 2016, but its ability to assure Victorians of the health system’s quality and safety remains limited. It also found gaps in the department’s risk assessment process as well as outdated management guidelines.