Annual Report 2020-21Kim Parker
The Forensicare Annual Report 2020-21 was recently tabled in Victorian Parliament. The annual report provides an overview of the financial, operational and strategic outcomes at Forensicare during the 2020-21 financial year. During another period overwhelmingly affected by COVID-19, where we experienced our longest lockdown, ongoing restrictions and considerable uncertainty, it is striking to see what has been achieved. To note:
- Our Strategic Plan 2021-26 was developed and finalised after extensive consultation with staff, executive, the board, as well as consumers, carers, families, supporters, service delivery partners and other organisations. This included working groups which met weekly over several months.
- Our Model of Care 2021-26 was delivered following several years of extensive consultation including consumers, carers, families, supporters, staff, stakeholders, service partners and subject matter experts.
- The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System delivered its final report and recommendations in February 2021 and in May we received confirmation that $349.6 million would be invested into the expansion of Thomas Embling Hospital to provide an additional 82 beds and supporting infrastructure. Planning began immediately and construction is due to commence in mid-2022.
- In this period, we also conducted extensive work internally to support the safety and wellbeing of our staff. In July 2020, we launched our Heath, Safety and Wellbeing Plan and have implemented changes such as the introduction of a Clinical Support Team at Thomas Embling Hospital, the establishment of an Employee Support Network, and the revision of a range of policies and procedures related to health, safety and wellbeing. This period also saw consultation with staff regarding workplace culture at Forensicare, including the commissioning of an independent report into Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination. We see this work as fundamental to our future, and it is ongoing.
- We had several staff members recognised for their extraordinary research (Dr Tessa Maguire, Dr Ashley Dunne, Associate Professor Stephane Shepherd – twice – and Dr Justin Trouson) while Julie Dempsey, Senior Consumer Consultant at Forensicare, was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Forensicare and the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science won the Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety category at the ACHS 23rd Annual Quality Improvement Awards, and Apsley Unit at Thomas Embling Hospital won the 2020 Mental Health Design Award category at the European Healthcare Design Awards.
We are particularly proud of these achievements given the context of COVID-19 which has had a significant impact on the delivery of our services. From increased PPE requirements to telehealth consultations to the challenges of remote working, all the while managing personal circumstances, our staff have continued to show incredible resilience, dedication and commitment. We also recognise the impact on consumers, who experienced restricted visitations and leave. We thank everyone who contributed in many different ways to the achievements of 2020-21.
To read more, please download the report below.