International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Cultural security is a key element of accessible services for Indigenous peoples globally, although few studies have examined this empirically. We explored the scope, reach, quality, and cultural security of health and social services available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families in Western Australia (WA), from the point of view of staff from the services. We recruited staff from health and social services for Aboriginal people in the Perth, Kalgoorlie, Great Southern, and South West regions of WA between December 2015 and September 2017 to complete online surveys. We examined the proportions of participants that responded saying the service was culturally secure, the reasons for the response, and perceived factors related to a high-quality service. Sixty participants from 21 services responded to the survey. Seventy-three percent stated the service was culturally secure; however, only 36% stated that the staff employed at the service had sufficient knowledge on cultural security. Participants suggested having Aboriginal staff and better cultural awareness training as methods to improve cultural security within the service. Participants highlighted that staffing, funding for resources, and patient financial difficulties in accessing care as key areas for quality improvement. Much greater effort is required in improving knowledge through on-going training of staff in the practice of culturally safe care. Organisations must also be required to meet specific standards in cultural safety.
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