2 May 2019

Consultant brought in to improve maternity services work culture

| Ian Bushnell
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The ACT’s maternity services have been dogged by bullying claims.

ACT Health has hired a consultant to help change workplace behaviour in Canberra’s maternity services at Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public, with a focus on improving the relationships between doctors and midwives.

The contract comes in the wake of an anonymous letter to Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris last year alleging maternity services were understaffed, under-resourced, women’s and babies’ health was being compromised and bullying was continuing to occur, and a subsequent Assembly committee inquiry which received claims of a toxic environment between obstetrics and midwifery that impacted on the care women received.

It also comes after the release in March of the Independent Review into Workplace Culture within ACT Public Health Services, which found a disturbing culture of bullying and harassment.

Juliette Alush from the Nelson Sala Group will be working with Canberra Health Services Maternity Services until 30 June, and her $60,800 contract requires her to develop and implement an action plan and charter to embed positive workplace behaviours between staff, with significant focus on creating respectful and professional relationships between medical officers and midwifery nursing staff.

The contract says Ms Alush will deliver an action plan and charter for continued and sustained positive workplace behaviour, a documented summary of achieved outcomes and a strategy for sustained improvements, and a recommended way to measure its success.

Her work may include workshops, meetings and other activities, according to the contract, which commenced on 15 April.

According to her LinkedIn listing, Ms Alush has extensive executive HR and Public Relations experience as a leader of transformational change in large organisations including Western Health, Delaware North, Qantas, British Airways and Victorian Government departments.

It says she is recognised as an expert in organisational and business development strategy, has extensive experience in marketing and cultural change, and is a sought after business consultant offering strategic and business advice to a range of retail, healthcare and hospitality organisations with 5000+ employees through her consultancy Nelson Sala Group which was established in 2008.

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