Action 1.33 states

The health service organisation demonstrates a welcoming environment that recognises the importance of the cultural beliefs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Intent

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel welcome and respected when receiving care.

Reflective questions

How does the health service organisation make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients feel welcome and safe when receiving care?

How does the physical environment meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, carers and families?

Key tasks

  • Establish relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and seek feedback on current practices in the organisation and areas for improvement
  • Review the factors that create a welcoming environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Strategies for improvement

Hospitals

Providing a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may improve their patient and carer experience during an episode of care. This may lead to improved health outcomes and may reduce the rate of early discharge.

Create a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by1:

  • Collaborating with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to review the design, use and layout of public spaces, and to maximise privacy and minimise distress in clinical spaces
  • Engaging the community in the development of messages to explain organisational processes
  • Identifying spaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences, and to consult with members of the clinical workforce, carers and family; this could include outdoor spaces, if appropriate
  • Seeking feedback on the signs, symbols and displays that could be used, such as
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags
    • artwork from local and partner communities
    • statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional owners
    • participation in cultural events
  • Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers to have access to culturally appropriate services.

Further strategies are available in the

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Policy documents about cultural diversity that deal with the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and their carers and families
  • Committee and meeting records that show that the local community provided input about the cultural beliefs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Availability of an Aboriginal support officer to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients on entry or admission to the health service organisation
  • Information brochures that outline the role of the Aboriginal support officer, and the services available to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Examples of services that are tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, local artworks or land maps that are displayed in main foyers, or used in soft furnishings and information brochures
  • Statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional custodians
  • Use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names for wards and meeting rooms
  • Results of consumer satisfaction surveys that provide feedback on actions to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Identified space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences or to consult with members of the clinical workforce
  • Evidence of involvement in, or recognition of, ceremonies such as NAIDOC celebrations, smoking ceremonies and National Sorry Day.

Day Procedure Services

This action applies to day procedure services that commonly provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These services should refer to the advise for hospitals and the 

for detailed implementation strategies and examples of evidence for this action.

Day procedure services that rarely provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or when the risk of harm for these patients is the same as for the general patient population, should manage the specific risk of harm, and provide safe and high-quality care for these patients through the safety and quality improvement systems that relate to their whole patient population.

Day procedure services need to implement strategies to improve the cultural awareness and cultural competency of the workforce under Action 1.21, and identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients under Action 5.8.

MPS & Small Hospitals

Providing a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may improve the patient and carer experience during an episode of care. This may lead to improved health outcomes and may reduce the rate of early discharge.

MPSs and small hospitals should consider how they:

  • Establish relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and seek feedback on current practices in the organisation and areas for improvement
  • Review the factors that create a welcoming environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Create a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by1:

  • Collaborating with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to review the design, use and layout of public spaces, and to maximise privacy and minimise distress in clinical spaces
  • Engaging the community in the development of messages to explain organisational processes
  • Identifying spaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences, and to consult with members of the clinical workforce, carers and family; this could include outdoor spaces, if appropriate
  • Seeking feedback on the signs, symbols and displays that could be used, such as
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags
    • artwork from local and partner communities
    • statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional owners
    • participation in cultural events
  • Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers to have access to culturally appropriate services.

Further strategies are available in the

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Policy documents about cultural diversity that deal with the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and their carers and families
  • Committee and meeting records that show that the local community provided input about the cultural beliefs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Availability of an Aboriginal support officer to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients on entry or admission to the health service organisation
  • Information brochures that outline the role of the Aboriginal support officer, and the services available to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Examples of services that are tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, local artworks or land maps that are displayed in main foyers, or used in soft furnishings and information brochures
  • Statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional custodians
  • Use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names for wards and meeting rooms
  • Results of consumer satisfaction surveys that provide feedback on actions to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Identified space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences or to consult with members of the clinical workforce
  • Evidence of involvement in, or recognition of, ceremonies such as NAIDOC celebrations, smoking ceremonies and National Sorry Day.

Hospitals

Providing a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may improve their patient and carer experience during an episode of care. This may lead to improved health outcomes and may reduce the rate of early discharge.

Create a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by1:

  • Collaborating with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to review the design, use and layout of public spaces, and to maximise privacy and minimise distress in clinical spaces
  • Engaging the community in the development of messages to explain organisational processes
  • Identifying spaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences, and to consult with members of the clinical workforce, carers and family; this could include outdoor spaces, if appropriate
  • Seeking feedback on the signs, symbols and displays that could be used, such as
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags
    • artwork from local and partner communities
    • statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional owners
    • participation in cultural events
  • Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers to have access to culturally appropriate services.

Further strategies are available in the

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Policy documents about cultural diversity that deal with the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and their carers and families
  • Committee and meeting records that show that the local community provided input about the cultural beliefs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Availability of an Aboriginal support officer to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients on entry or admission to the health service organisation
  • Information brochures that outline the role of the Aboriginal support officer, and the services available to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Examples of services that are tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, local artworks or land maps that are displayed in main foyers, or used in soft furnishings and information brochures
  • Statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional custodians
  • Use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names for wards and meeting rooms
  • Results of consumer satisfaction surveys that provide feedback on actions to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Identified space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences or to consult with members of the clinical workforce
  • Evidence of involvement in, or recognition of, ceremonies such as NAIDOC celebrations, smoking ceremonies and National Sorry Day.

Day Procedure Services

This action applies to day procedure services that commonly provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These services should refer to the advise for hospitals and the 

for detailed implementation strategies and examples of evidence for this action.

Day procedure services that rarely provide care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, or when the risk of harm for these patients is the same as for the general patient population, should manage the specific risk of harm, and provide safe and high-quality care for these patients through the safety and quality improvement systems that relate to their whole patient population.

Day procedure services need to implement strategies to improve the cultural awareness and cultural competency of the workforce under Action 1.21, and identify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients under Action 5.8.

MPS & Small Hospitals

Providing a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may improve the patient and carer experience during an episode of care. This may lead to improved health outcomes and may reduce the rate of early discharge.

MPSs and small hospitals should consider how they:

  • Establish relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and seek feedback on current practices in the organisation and areas for improvement
  • Review the factors that create a welcoming environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Create a welcoming, culturally sensitive and safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by1:

  • Collaborating with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to review the design, use and layout of public spaces, and to maximise privacy and minimise distress in clinical spaces
  • Engaging the community in the development of messages to explain organisational processes
  • Identifying spaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences, and to consult with members of the clinical workforce, carers and family; this could include outdoor spaces, if appropriate
  • Seeking feedback on the signs, symbols and displays that could be used, such as
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags
    • artwork from local and partner communities
    • statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional owners
    • participation in cultural events
  • Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers to have access to culturally appropriate services.

Further strategies are available in the

Examples of evidence

Select only examples currently in use:

  • Policy documents about cultural diversity that deal with the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, and their carers and families
  • Committee and meeting records that show that the local community provided input about the cultural beliefs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Availability of an Aboriginal support officer to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients on entry or admission to the health service organisation
  • Information brochures that outline the role of the Aboriginal support officer, and the services available to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Examples of services that are tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, local artworks or land maps that are displayed in main foyers, or used in soft furnishings and information brochures
  • Statements of reconciliation and acknowledgement of traditional custodians
  • Use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names for wards and meeting rooms
  • Results of consumer satisfaction surveys that provide feedback on actions to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
  • Identified space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold family conferences or to consult with members of the clinical workforce
  • Evidence of involvement in, or recognition of, ceremonies such as NAIDOC celebrations, smoking ceremonies and National Sorry Day.

References

  1. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Creating safe and welcoming environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2016 (accessed Sep 2017).