Enhancing cultural safety in EDs

ACEM has entered into a partnership with The Lowitja Institute to enhance cultural safety in Australian emergency departments.

The partnership comes as the College marks 2019 National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) and consults on its renewed Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

2019 National Reconciliation Week

The 2019 National Reconciliation Week theme is Grounded in Truth: Walk together with Courage.

“At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationship must be grounded in a foundation of truth,” the official National Reconciliation Week website says.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history. Our nation’s past is reflected in the present, and will continue to play out in future unless we heal historical wounds.”

Improved emergency care delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Lowitja Institute is Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. It is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation working for the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples through high impact quality research, knowledge translation, and by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers.

Through its research the organisation will advise ACEM on advocacy at a national level for improved emergency care delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This will involve identifying and applying conceptions of cultural safety and respect. The Institute will also draw upon research and best practice models of care specific to the emergency setting, and align this with ACEM’s Aboriginal Health Strategy and RAP.

The Institute’s chief executive Janine Mohamed says: “This work is important because it’s about leadership and for other organisations to follow ACEM’s lead in wanting to enhance cultural safety in health care encounters and ultimately improve health outcomes.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples make up three per cent of the population, we can’t do this work by ourselves. Cultural safety encourages the 97 percent to step into their responsibility and activate their power and position to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait health outcomes in a respectful and informed way.”

Lead researcher Kerry Arabena says: “Emergency physicians and emergency departments represent the commitment of a society to social justice for everybody, in that they are, and should be, available to all people, irrespective of circumstance.

“This research project will seek the advice of service users and hospital staff across different sites to inform the development of the advocacy plan. In considering the voices of those most impacted by the Advocacy Plan, ACEM can support those responsible to make emergency departments equitably available to everybody, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This will align the aspirations contained in the ACEM RAP – that there is a strong capable culturally informed workforce delivering services that are safe for everyone.”

RAP 2019-2021 Consultation

ACEM launched its inaugural RAP in 2017. We are now in the process of refreshing our RAP. We welcome your feedback.

The College has made good progress to embed reconciliation in the business of the College, and to establish partnerships with key organisations. We have built a solid foundation to progress our focus for the next two years:

  • Workforce: supporting our existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce and growing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander emergency physician and ACEM staff workforce through education, training and other initiatives.
  • Service Delivery: integrating cultural safety into emergency departments and ACEM staff practices through education, training and other initiatives.
  • Engagement: Strengthening our relationships with key external stakeholders.

Review the RAP Consultation Document and give your feedback

This consultation will be open until Friday 31 May.

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