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    Communique 1 – 9 April 2021

    This was the first meeting of the Healthcare worker wellbeing centre advisory group. Eleven of the 13 group members were able to attend the two-hour meeting. The group dscussed the challenges faced by healthcare workers in general, as well as the impact of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and now the recovery phase.

    Kym Jenkins led the discussion about what was important to the group. Members agreed that being courageous, curious and having respectful interactions were core foundations of the group. The group also acknowledged that they should be brave and challenge the norm. The group also recognised that further mapping of other wellbeing initiatives for healthcare workers was a priority and agreed to work collectively to progress this.

    The group discussed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Joy in Work framework and agreed that safety at work is a priority – improvement cannot materialise when inappropriate behaviour is occurring and employees feel unsafe. Additionally, group members agreed that improvement demands system change, that allows individuals to flourish. We should not rely on individual resilience in overcoming adversity.

    Members committed to providing leadership in their own organisations to promote activities of the Healthcare worker wellbeing centre as well as in the sector more broadly. They also committed to this regular communique that will be uploaded to the Centre’s web page.

    Communique 2 – 30 April 2021

    Eleven members were in attendance, including some first-time participants. The group reflected on the warm energy in the room, particularly noted by those attending for the first time.

    Praveen Sharma from the Department of Health presented on the healthcare worker wellbeing package initiatives including the Be Well Be Safe website.

    Fiona Herco from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) provided an overview of the Joy in Work framework and presented proposed options for future workshops and a learning and action network aiming to improve healthcare worker wellbeing. The group presented many creative and innovative ideas around ensuring opportunities for as many healthcare workers as possible to participate and in turn benefit from the improvement work.

    Lachlan Hillman, Clinical Fellow from Safer Care Victoria shared a personal reflection on working clinically during the pandemic, underscoring the importance of improving healthcare worker wellbeing. Lachlan reflected on the importance of having something left to give in our personal lives and that the lessons learned in 2020 are powerful drivers for improvement.

    The group then participated in an activity to reflect upon and discuss the purpose of the Centre, specifically short- and long-term goals for the Centre. The key themes here were communication, clear goals, measurable success and sustainability.

    The meeting closed with a reflection on the group’s core values, and recognition of the group’s successful commitment to these values during the session. The group will meet again on May 25.

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