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Independent Review of the Response to the North-West Tasmania COVID-19 Outbreak

The Premier has established an independent Review to consider the actions, and effectiveness of those actions, taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in North-West Tasmania by government agencies, public and private health care facilities, and other relevant authorities.

The consultation period on the draft terms of reference is open now, and closes at midnight on 8 July 2020.

Review the Terms of Reference [MS Word], then click here to have your say (submissions@dpac.tas.gov.au)

Terms of Reference

Purpose

An independent Review will consider the actions, and effectiveness of those actions, taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in North-West Tasmania by government agencies, public and private health care facilities, and other relevant authorities.

The terms of reference for this Review are as follows:

  1. The chronology and response to the COVID-19 outbreak in North-West Tasmania including but not limited to:
  1. the public health and health system preparedness for the outbreak
  2. the entry and spread of the virus in North-West Tasmania
  3. the efficacy of decisions and actions, with respect to identification, isolation, contact tracing and quarantine for cases or potential cases in the North-West
  4. timelines and effectiveness of communications to hospital staff, the local community and private sector health service provider
  5. access to, training for and use of Personal Protective Equipment
  1. The effectiveness of directions, notices, orders, and regulations made under the Emergency Management Act 2006 and the Public Health Act 1997, in respect of the North-West.
  2. The effectiveness of state, regional and local response, control, communication and co‑ordination arrangements, including agency interoperability, and the co-ordination of activities with government and non-government organisations, including Public Health Services, Department of Health, North‑West Regional Hospital and Mersey Community Hospital.
  3. The timeliness and effectiveness of closing the North West Regional Hospital and North West Private Hospital in Burnie, and its impact on other health and related facilities.
  4. Any other matter relevant to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the North-West that the Reviewer identifies in the course of Review activities as warranting investigation and discussion.
  5. The Reviewer will:
  1. provide an opportunity to persons with a proper interest in the subject matter of this review to make submissions about that subject matter and, if thought necessary, to be heard personally in relation those matters;
  2. ensure that where necessary appropriate confidentiality arrangements are made for persons assisting the inquiry; and
  3. ensure the lived experience of North-West Coast patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and those placed in quarantine are taken account of.

An independent person of eminent standing and experience will conduct the review. A working group will be established in conjunction with, and to advise, the Reviewer with at least public health, hospital administration, and public sector administration experience.

The Review will commence in mid July 2020.

The date for submissions and or consultations will be determined by the Reviewer with the final report including findings and recommendations expected to be delivered by the end of October, subject to the spread of COVID-19 over that timeframe and possible impacts on the availability of personnel.