College in lockdown

Wednesday 18 August 2021

The past two weeks have seen the ACT and NSW change overnight with the COVID-19 Delta outbreaks. As the College has staff in both states, it has responded to the lockdowns to ensure their safety while continuing the work of the College, albeit at a reduced rate. All staff at the College office in Canberra have been deemed casual or close contacts, and so have joined the queues for testing, some up to nine hours long. In parallel, all are now working from home, with inboxes being monitored and call backs as needed, but with significant disruption. So far, all staff have tested negative for COVID-19, so fingers crossed we will weather this particular storm. Changes to the calendar of events have been discussed and options explored. More as we work out the details.

Last week I sent an email to every member about the National Mental Health Workforce Taskforce, of which I am a member. Whilst our voice has been heard in the taskforce, I encourage everyone to read the draft and respond. The more voices we have the better chance of being heard. The College is preparing a formal response as well.

The College has also started working with the Victorian Royal Commission in an advisory capacity and will be pushing for better recognition of qualified mental health nurses. We are also now represented on a Federal Government panel to review the Better Access program.

Stephen Jackson



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