Tasmania has launched a review into how a pedophile nurse had worked in a children's ward of Launceston General Hospital amid harrowing evidence from victims at an inquiry.
Premier Jeremy Rockliff on Sunday said the state government will establish a Child Safe Governance Review of the hospital and its human resources, to focus on the handling of serious misconduct such as institutional child sexual abuse.
"We will not be waiting to take action where it is clear it is needed. It is critical that there is a culture of accountable leadership in our hospitals," he said.
A commission of inquiry into child sexual abuse in the state's public service last week examined the LGH and the case of James Geoffrey Griffin.
Griffin worked at the hospital for almost two decades and took his own life in October 2019 after being charged with child sexual abuse offences.
Several survivors have told the inquiry about abuse by Griffin, who was the subject of multiple reports of breaching professional boundaries at the hospital.
The review will be led by the Department of Health's secretary and will be informed by a governance advisory panel of independent experts in child trauma, governance and hospital administration.
Hospital staff and unions will be invited to participate as members to make recommendations, through a child safeguarding lens, on the hospital's management and leadership structures.
The move was welcomed by the state's medical professionals, with the Australian Medical Association Tasmanian president John Saul saying it was important to act sooner rather than later.
"We need to understand the ability of HR to act when a serious complaint is raised against an employee, while also balancing the need for natural justice principles to be upheld," he said.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation's Tasmanian branch secretary Emily Shepherd said while significant work will be required to improve systems and restore confidence, the review was a step in the right direction.
The review's recommendations will be handed to the department's secretary by November this year.
Australian Associated Press
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