Earlier this year the Centre for Aboriginal Health at the Ministry of Health requested all local health districts to complete an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural engagement self-assessment to enable the assessment and ongoing monitoring and reporting of cultural engagement.
This important initiative aligns with a number of requirements in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.
Northern Sydney Local Health District Deputy Director, Aboriginal Health, Paul Weir said the district has taken a collaborative approach with the Aboriginal health service and the clinical governance teams working together to implement cultural engagement self-assessment at all levels of the organisation.
"The self-assessment results from across the district indicate focus areas for widespread improvements in the interrelated processes associated with the identification, monitoring and review of people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander origin; and providing culturally safe work environments and health services," he said.
A highlighted area included there being no dedicated space at Royal North Shore Hospital to display Aboriginal health resources and programs.
This prompted National Safety and Quality Health Service Accreditation Manager, Annette Penney, in consultation with the Aboriginal health service, to address this gap.
Paul said: "Many small changes across the district such as displaying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags and creating a dedicated and visible space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources can be achieved with minimal effort".
"The installation of the display cabinet for the Aboriginal health service may seem like a small step but one in the right direction.