Southern District Health Board sacked !!!

█ Kathy Grant, a legal consultant at Gallaway Cook Allan in Dunedin, will take up the role of Commissioner tomorrow.

“Southern is forecasting a final deficit of $27 million for the current financial year. That figure has effectively doubled in the last six months.”
–Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health

Kathy Grant []### ODT Online Wed, 17 Jun 2015
Southern health board sacked
Dunedin legal consultant Kathy Grant has been appointed the Commissioner of the troubled Southern District Health Board which has been sacked today.
Her deputies will be board member Richard Thomson, who was sacked as Otago District Health Board chairman in 2009, and Dunedin City Holdings chairman Graham Crombie.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced this morning he had written to the SDHB sacking all members of the board and replacing it with a commissioner. Read more

● Perhaps unfortunate that Mr Thomson is in the equation – but some form of lowlife continuous knowledge possible. As for Mr Crombie – additional doubts there.

Related Posts and Comments:
9.6.15 Southern District Health Board
1.5.14 Dunedin Hospital buildings SORRY STATE
16.4.15 Talk of replacing Southern District Health Board with commissioner

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: – Kathy Grant


Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SDHB

125 responses to “Southern District Health Board sacked !!!

  1. Calvin Oaten

    OH!!!? What is it that Richard Thomson has that he keeps his incompetence waving at the top of the flagpole? Whatever it is he keeps it well hidden. Hide like an anaconda.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      He’s the Kim Kardashian equivalent “waving at the top of Dunedin’s flagpole”, somewhat short of discernible superstar ability but phenomenally good at visibility. We should give thanks that he keeps his body covered. There’s not a lot else to give thanks for, re the publicity-never-shy RT. Not so as I’ve noticed yet. Anyone who has, please share.

  2. Whippet

    Calvin. Could it be for services rendered ? They will need a compass to find which direction they are headed.

  3. Anonymous

    Why the hell did they have to keep Richard Thomson on? That’s bloody terrible.

    • Maurice Prendergast

      Thomson had already been sacked before. Is there some kind of ‘double jeopardy’ law that prevents them from sacking him twice? This is shameful stuff. It’s a Clayton’s remedy…………. The remedy that you get when you’re not getting a remedy!

  4. Elizabeth

    Carol Heatly’s position seems secure. Bugger it.

    • Maggie McDonald

      I agree. Look at the thousands spent on doing up the old hospital at Wakari just for management

      • Suzy.

        To be fair to the Health Board, a number of years ago when this was being planned, there was a public meeting at which the reason for the use of Wakari Hospital by the management and Mental Health services was explained. Any other service needs fast access to surgical theatres for emergencies, eg maternity, cardiac. The more Wakari Hospital can be used the better. The only reason for not pushing for the whole hospital to move up the hill (flooding and sea level change concerns) is that it needs to be close to the university and therefore the Medical School.

  5. Gurglars

    Thomson is there to ENSURE, no-one is found guilty.

    Just as long as he is not appointed to the supreme court one would imagine we are better off.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      If no-one’s found guilty the prisons in Auckland and Christchurch could go a long way to remedying the rental housing shortages in both cities. Ill wind and all that.

  6. Elizabeth

    “The financial problems at Southern DHB are longstanding. I do not have confidence that the current governance arrangements are suitable for delivering on the changes required in Southern DHB,” Coleman said in a statement.


    ### June 17, 2015 – 5:45pm
    Health Minister sacks Southern District Health Board
    The board in charge of the Southern DHB has been sacked by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman. He’s appointed a local woman to replace the board, as a commissioner. And there’s mixed reaction from residents. 


    ### June 17, 2015 – 5:34pm
    Your word on the
    appointment of a commissioner over the SDHB

    Today’s announcement by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to sack the board in charge of the Southern DHB comes as a shock to some. Although others welcome the appointment of a local legal expert to replace the board. And with that in mind, our word on the street team asked members of the public if they think it’s the right move.

  7. Whippet

    It must be a slur on the rest of the board that has been sacked to find one of the board members is to be kept on. Does that mean that Mr. Thomo was the only board member that did anything right ?

  8. Calvin Oaten

    You would have to give Richard his due, he’s got ‘oodles of Chutzpah’. Not only did he occupy the DHB (of the time) chair while an unnoticed $16 million went down the ‘Swannee’ and get kicked out by minister of the day Tony Ryall, he had the temerity to stand again for re-election as a board member. Being a ‘master’ of finance (in his estimation) he would at the drop of a hat rave publicly of his prowess. Wearing his other hat, that of the DCC, he assumes the chair of Finance and, when the GCFO Grant McKenzie determined that there was a fiscal surplus of $2 million available for debt reduction our intrepid chair pounced on it and allocated it to funding lights at the cricket arena at Logan Park. To be fair, a majority of council supported the motion and basically said ‘stuff the debt reduction’ who needs that?
    Now that Butter fingers and his gang of incompetents have been given the ‘old heave ho’ from the SDHB board and replaced them with lawyer Kathy Grant as commissioner plus one veteran board member, Richard Thomson, and Graham Crombie. Lo! up comes the news on national TV and does the commissioner Kathy Grant front? No, it was our intrepid Richard Thomson, who told the nation that he now has the task of putting the Otago Southland hospital services onto a sound financial footing. No acknowledgement of Kathy Grant as commissioner nor Graham Crombie. Just brave effective battler Richard. Look up in the sky, is it a plane, is it a bird, no it’s Super Dick, battling crime and corruption in the interests of the common people! go you beaudie!! Why did Dr Coleman do this? I guess he wants to see a total f…up before wiping the slate clean and doing the right thing. In the meantime my advice is try not to get sick.

  9. Elizabeth

    Would a public backlash remove RT from his deputyship. Have to hope so, in that the commissioner Kathy Grant will need clean air to breathe.

    RT better not be thinking his temporary posting is vindication of his highly suspect past in governance. We have yet to get an explanation for why he recommended the post-Swann ODHB/SDHB whitewash accountant from Balclutha…. be rolled into DCC as (joke) independent chair of the Audit and Risk SUBcommittee, as well as (what the hell, another conflict of interest) ‘outside contact’ for DCC whistleblowers.

    I mean how stupid does it get. This on the heels of the morally bankrupt code of conduct complaints against “my good friend” (RT’s words) Cr Lee Vandervis, the conduct hearing (stuffed full of illegalities) and Council’s adoption of the hearing committee’s recommendations that included removing Vandervis’s voting rights for a fixed term – all of which was beyond ‘the realm’ of natural justice. Thomson pushed his conduct complaint against Vandervis, and followed by a few more things “against the law” which have yet to surface. Greasy sod.

    No-one on the operating table will be saved by RT least of all health services across Otago Southland. Kathy Grant will see that RT has no calibre or head for figures at all.

  10. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Jun 2015
    Commissioner ‘not here to be popular’
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Decision-making at the Southern District Health Board will not be driven by public sentiment and concerns over popularity, says its new commissioner, Kathy Grant. And a sacked board member says Dunedin neurosurgery, which the public rallied to save just five years ago, is one of many services that could be up for review.
    Read more

    Intellect less than that of a budgie (RT) when it comes to finance – Goodwin’s article slides off into farce:

  11. Calvin Oaten

    “His quick intellect and institutional memory of southern health is undoubtedly an asset to commissioner Kathy Grant, whose background is not health governance.” For a moment I thought Eileen Goodwin was referring to the late Harry Gibson. He chaired the health board when the ‘Superintendent’ was a medical man. How novel was that? Who’d have thought of having a medical man running a hospital when a bureaucrat can do it so much better? Richard Thomson is a serious retard on matters financial as he so aptly demonstrates time and time again, both with the SDHB and the DCC. The biggest mystery is why Kathy Grant chose that ‘dipstick’ to assist her. Why indeed, or is it that she was instructed? If so, then I think she is on a hiding to nothing with this appointment. I repeat, try not to get sick.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin, I intend writing to Kathy Grant. Suggest you might also.

    • Calvin
      I suspect that Kathy Grant will know how he can be used. Does the term ‘useful ijits’ come to mind?

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I remember a US expression relating to corporations that sailed close to the wind. They had a shit-hits-fan plan that allowed the highest and smartest to stroll away to their Swiss bank accounts, it was the smart but not all that smart, very well remunerated appointment of the “Vice-president for going to jail”.

  12. Peter

    It seems so strange that Richard Thomson is put in the position of being a cost cutter when it is not in his nature. He says as much in today’s ODT when he says he wouldn’t have taken up the job, as an assistant, if it was about cutting services. (Though I guess he might be just saying this for now.)
    In his job as DCC Chair of Finance I can’t say I have heard him being particularly staunch about cutting costs. In fact he ‘found’ an extra $2m to help fund lights for night time cricket at Logan Park….after the DAP process was completed. A project that was initially to be unfunded…..supposedly.
    Dunedin is a weird place.

    • Gurglars

      Peter, Dunedin is not a weird place!

      Surfers Paradise is described as a sunny place for shady people.

      Dunedin can now be described as

      A Haven for the unelectable to prosper


      David Benson-Pope sacked as a minister of the Crown for specious activities, implicated in sex scandals by Investigate magazine – elected to clean up Dunedin!

      Imagine the crime/scandal necessary to see a Labour Party minister sacked, one would imagine murder or at least a capital crime would be necessary.

      Richard Thomson sacked by the then Minister following the theft of over $16 million by an employee during his term as board member (and no doubt involved in the financial area) later councillor elected to the DCC and made chairman of Finance.

      Michael Guest former judge and disbarred lawyer, subsequently elected to the DCC.

      One can only surmise that the majority of the electorate do not read, have no internet access or simply don’t care. If their name is in the paper, on radio or TV they must be electable.

      Listening to the Channel 39 interviews on the SDHB one can certainly extrapolate that the average voter is either uninformed or just plain thick.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        “If their name is in the paper, on radio or TV they must be electable.” Voting is emotional. Trust is a gut instinct crossed with wishful thinking. A nice friendly manner and never saying anything unpleasant will take a person a long way. If there is an unpleasant message to convey, make it boring, full of jargon and numbers of sod-all relevance among which the shreds of relevant truth can hide. Dress it up: yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus and there will be jam tomorrow.
        Lee Vandervis has remained unpopular with too many voters because of his straightforward communication of facts and ideas they don’t want to be forced to know about. He’s “negative”. He doesn’t even imply he’ll deliver pie in the sky.
        Churchill got away with blood sweat and tears because the enemy was outside, it was Them.
        Our enemy is within, it’s the people we voted for and didn’t vote out at the first opportunity. We – voters as a whole – have a lot emotionally invested in believing we weren’t suckers. We’re like the people who having sent the first couple of payments to a Nigerian scammer or an online “true love” keep on sending more because we’re so close to getting the reward – aren’t we? Walking away isn’t an admission that the scammer and “fiance” are rogues, it’s an admission that we have allowed ourselves to be scammed over and over and over.
        “Listening to the Channel 39 interviews on the SDHB one can certainly extrapolate that the average voter is either uninformed or just plain thick.”
        It’s hard to know out of the long list of names, candidates’ profiles and claims of competence, who would be an improvement on the previous shower. Emotion comes to the rescue: the nice person whose name we know so well, who has a lovely smile and speaks with such confidence about how well they have been managing our city despite some adverse events beyond their control……………..

        We think we’re thinking. Some of us are, doing our best to find the truth and act accordingly even when it’s terribly unattractive. Others have never been given the tools for sorting shit from clay, statistics (50% of all dentists can sound impressive but 2 out of a total of 4, not so much – then do similar with “reduces cavities by X%!”). Others are already overloaded with decisions, school uniforms vs dental treatment. I wish people could/would make better choices, but I think I understand some of the reasons they (we) don’t.

  13. Elizabeth

    The earlier item linked above is re-issued as opinion!

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Jun 2015
    Opinion: Sacking board smart move by minister
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Sacking the Southern District Health Board members and installing a Dunedin-based line-up is a smart move by Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman. Health boards are buffers that absorb the public anger that could otherwise sting the Government. Replacing them with an unelected commissioner is politically risky, especially in the South.
    Read more

  14. Peter

    I see on Channel 39 the reporter says they are talking about ‘years’ to get on top of things but the team are confident they can do it. Time will tell, Channel 39, correctly states.

    • Elizabeth

      Sick making. 39 Dunedin News interviewed RT tonight. He’s loving all the attention – new haircut too. Link to come.

  15. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Jun 2015
    Estimated cost of hospital rebuild soars
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Rebuilding the clinical services building at Dunedin Hospital is now expected to cost $300 million, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says. Dr Coleman visited Dunedin Hospital today accompanied by the new commissioner team appointed to govern Southern District Health Board.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Jun 2015
    Editorial: Southern health’s high stakes
    OPINION The people of the South care intensely about the quality and range of their health services. […] We have been fortunate to be the base for a teaching hospital, an historic situation that has become entwined with the University of Otago, the city and the region.
    Read more

  16. Elizabeth

    ne 18, 2015 – 5:55pm
    No quick fix for Southern District Health Board
    There’s no quick fix for the Southern DHB, even as its new commissioner takes charge. She’s just toured Dunedin Hospital with her two deputies and the health minister. And they say it’s likely to be some time before the organisation’s sizeable deficit is reined in. 


    ### June 18, 2015 – 6:56pm
    Nightly Interview: Richard Thomson
    Financial problems at the Southern District Health Board are nothing new, and Richard Thomson knows that more than most. He’s been on the board since 2001, as a chairman and a member. He’s now a deputy commissioner, and he joins us to explain the difficulties involved in running the organisation.

    • Gurglars

      With an attitude that thieves and rorters won’t be discovered and not singled out and ALL punished as demonstrated at the DCC, it is not surprising that a large organisation with a myriad ways of robbing the system cannot run to budget.

      Has the SDHB checked the following

      1. Do all the people that are paid actually exist?
      2. When contracts go out are they managed to determine whether the contracts are honoured (see DCC mudtraps).
      3. When purchases are contracted are the tenderers checked for firstly honesty and secondly performance (it is clear in the Swann case that this did not happen, rest assured there will be plenty of cygnets).
      4. When budgeting are the necessities placed in front of the wants or are budgets set like many authorities on an annual incremental basis.
      5. The management meant to oversee the above and more should at least have their salaries reduced if not be relieved of their positions.

      Management is the management of assets.

      Finally, health boards need doctors and nurses not overpaid ineffective bureaucrats at $500,000. per annum.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Doctors were taken out of admin and a layer of professional admin placed between them and patients because of a perceived (and real, often) problem that if you played golf with the doctor you’d get your gall bladder op without delay.
        Waiting lists were “flexible” to put it nicely. But now they’re bureaucratted, are we getting better value for the total health money? The names at the bottom of the list may be slightly different names … perhaps. The number of names on the we-don’t-call-it-waiting list to go on the waiting list isn’t any shorter, and no wonder. The ‘crat layer is taking up funds that used to go straight to caring for sick and injured people’s needs. Being delayed by ‘crats isn’t any better than being delayed because a few doctors took their golfing buddies ahead of other sick people. Overall, the less money is spent on admin the more is available for doing the health job.
        Include premises for keeping ‘crats in the style to which they feel entitled too. After all, who is it that decides on premises and the standard thereof? Not the patient-treating staff, is it!

    • Calvin Oaten

      That interview was an eye opener. Just how he was co-opted as assistant commissioner is a mystery that only Kathy Grant could explain. He admits he has been on the board since 2001, as a chairman (sacked) and a member. During this period the board’s management record has progressively gone from bad to worse, including the Swann affair morphing $16 million out of the system unnoticed, resulting in his sacking.
      Now he pontificates on how he is not interested in a ‘slash and burn’ approach but rather to resurrect in a sustainable manner the fortunes of the local health system. The effrontery of that man is mind boggling. Here is a classical case of narcissism mixed with cynicism that allows a man to extend a hand by saying “I really like the man” (Cr Lee Vandervis), at the same time as he slips the knife between two ribs by moving a ‘code of conduct breach’ charge against the man. Just how Kathy Grant, or for that matter anyone else could trust a man like that in a position of confidence is beyond understanding.

  17. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting how Richard Thomson sees himself as part of the solution to the SDH’s problems when for over a decade he has been a very significant part of the problems. He truly lives in a different universe.

  18. Peter

    I saw the interview with Richard Thomson and, as with many TV interviews, you end up wondering what was substantively said.
    I got the message that there will be no slash and burn and that getting things right will take a long time…as in years….but what struck me was the language of what they might have to do in terms of direction for solving the admittedly difficult financial problems. It is clear that they are starting from ground zero and, at this point,are sorting out where to start. Richard has been there since 2001 and I must say I thought there might be a heads up on this one.
    He is an articulate speaker with a pleasant sounding, reassuring voice. That is his strength, but is that all you need? I don’t think so.

    • Semper fidelis

      Did you see that great exhibition of bad grammar from Richard the Great. He should know that the opposite of ‘soluble’ is ‘insoluble’. Twice he offended the Queen’s English by using a word (unsolvable) a word not know to our language. I hear you say that “grammar doesn’t really matter”. Well please witness history of the cavalry when the reason for the lost war was described thus: “For the want of a nail, a shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe a horse was lost; for the want of a horse, a battle was lost and by the loss of that battle the war was lost.” Thomson’s undisciplined “she’ll be right” modus operandi was hugely evidenced when he presided over the former Hospital Board. It was on his watch (was it not) that one Michael Swann was parking his Lamborghini in the hospital car park and Thomson never noticed anything odd about that. He also did not notice Swann steal something like $16M Hospital funds and OMG he is now installed as the answer to the prayers of the faltering current Hospital Board – of which he is part. Words fail me. It was Nero who fiddled while Rome burned; and it was Thomson who fiddled while the Hospital Board failed. I guess we’re just asked to ‘go figure’. The inmates are in charge of the asylum; the fox is guarding the fowl house; and the race to oblivion is on.

      {A lot of missing fullstops, at least one spelling error…. ‘punctuation’, Semper! -Eds}

      • Semper fidelis

        Let he/she who has not sinned cast (or is it caste) the first stone. At least I’m an ignoramus (unlike Thomson) who operates at no cost to the public purse.

  19. Calvin Oaten

    “He is articulate with a pleasant sounding reassuring voice.” He is also a qualified ‘clinical psychologist.’ The master of glib! He has that capacity to witter on and on, saying precisely nothing. The man is a hoax. He has also been on the SDHB in one capacity or another for “FOURTEEN YEARS!!”. If it was ‘ground zero’ he would not be in the picture. For God’s sake, how long will it take for the man to be seen as the ‘great fraud’ that he is? I cannot believe how he, like a great rotten apple keeps being there.

  20. Elizabeth

    “Carole’s going to be staying on. She’s an important part of the team.” –Jonathan Coleman

    ### ODT Online Fri, 19 Jun 2015
    $100m more for hospital block rebuild
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The estimated price-tag on the new clinical services building at Dunedin Hospital is now as high as $300 million, rather than $200 million, Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman says. […] In a press conference alongside the trio, Dr Coleman said Carole Heatly would keep her job as chief executive.
    Read more

  21. Gurglars

    The Main reason Richard Thomson has been seconded.

    He has experience and is expected to put in a new security system see link below.

  22. Elizabeth

    Irresponsible defensive position on an intolerable situation caused by unworkable Central government enforced population-based funding for Southern Region.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Jun 2015
    Health ‘victories’ an issue: report
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Community ”victories” in health service campaigns have been blamed for contributing to the Southern District Health Board’s financial failure. A report released this week says clinical staff are in ”two camps”, one of which is willing to ”exploit division” to get its own way.
    Read more

  23. Hype O'Thermia

    ‘A report released this week says clinical staff are in “two camps”, one of which is willing to “exploit division” to get its own way.’
    Sinister! “Exploit… get their own way.” Clinical staff being demonised?

    I’d like a bit more information. What does their own way consist of? Is it like, exploiting system to obtain Lamborghini money, or is it more like exploiting guards’ drunken stupor to rescue sex-slaves?

    Are the clinical staff reduced to plotting and scheming to get the resources they need to treat patients whose long-delayed unmet needs break their hearts?

    What’s the story behind the slur?

  24. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 27 Jun 2015
    SDHB role ‘experiment’
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The Southern District Health Board commissioner will still be figuring out who she can trust and what her role entails, University of Otago health systems authority Prof Robin Gauld says.
    Read more

  25. Farkme

    According to Civis in today’s ODT Richard Thomson’s sacking by ex Minister Tony Ryall was ‘stupid party politics’. He goes on to say, ‘it’s good that his skills, knowledge and no nonsense approach will still be available for the benefit of southern healthcare.’
    Oh, I get it, it was the other dropkicks on the SDHB who got the organisation into trouble. Not Richard baby.

  26. Elizabeth


    ### Thu, 2 Jul 2015
    Hospital loses right to train [orthopaedic] surgeons
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Dunedin Hospital has lost the right to train orthopaedic surgeons for the coming year, prompting a warning that surgical trainees may have to go elsewhere. The Resident Doctors Association sent an alert to members this morning.

  27. Elizabeth

    Orthopaedics the second training accreditation loss in Dunedin recently.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 3 Jul 2015
    Surgical trainees warned off Dunedin
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Surgical trainees have been warned to avoid seeking placement at Dunedin Hospital, because its trainee orthopaedic surgeon positions have been removed for a year. The Resident Doctors’ Association told members in an email alert yesterday the training loss had “potential knock-on impacts” for surgical training other than just orthopaedics.
    Read more

    Dick Bunton has the media skills of a dull bureaucrat. So very not reassuring.

  28. Elizabeth

    There were too few consultants to provide a safe level of supervision while trainees were operating. –Prof Jean-Claude Theis

    ### ODT Online Sat, 4 Jul 2015
    Claim training environment unsafe
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Orthopaedic surgery at Dunedin Hospital is not adequately staffed to provide a safe training environment, Dunedin Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Prof Jean-Claude Theis says. Dunedin Hospital has been allocated no orthopaedic trainees for 2016 because of issues in the department.
    Read more


    As Dunedin Hospital’s reputation is downgraded, the university’s ability to attract good students and staff falters.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 4 Jul 2015
    Editorial: Hospital fears and frustrations
    OPINION News this week about surgical training at Dunedin Hospital is concerning and upsetting. It raises fears the hospital is haemorrhaging and on a slippery slope to a downgrade. It adds to frustrations as issues mount. Dunedin Hospital losing training accreditation in its intensive care unit last year was most unfortunate, and it is hoped progress on an upgrade will help accreditation be reinstated. But when, in effect, accreditation – albeit in a different department – is lost for a second time, alarms bells really start to clang.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Medical Council inspection report shows main issue is Dunedin Hospital, where house officers report being overworked.

      ### ODT Online Tue, 24 Nov 2015
      SDHB intern training ‘failure’
      By Eileen Goodwin
      In another blow for the embattled Southern District Health Board, it has failed an inspection for accreditation to train house officers. The board has been granted interim accreditation until May 11 to give it time to sort out the problem.
      Read more


      Training accreditation is through DHBs as a whole, Southland Hospital has suffered as a result of Dunedin’s failings.

      If the management, systems and some practices are questionable, can patient safety be guaranteed?

      ### ODT Online Tue, 24 Nov 2015
      Editorial: SDHB: How much more?
      OPINION How many more blows can Dunedin Hospital and the Southern District Health Board – already on their knees – possibly sustain? The latest news – that the commissioner-run board has failed a Medical Council accreditation inspection to train house officers (or interns) – comes as a shock.
      Read more

      ● See other references to Dunedin Hospital accreditation and training elsewhere at this thread.

  29. Elizabeth

    ### sun, 5 Jul 2015
    Thousands march in Oamaru to protest SDHB
    By Nicola Wolf/
    About two thousand people turned up on Sunday to protest proposed cuts to the Oamaru Public Hospital. Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher, who organised the march, said he had expected at least 1000 people to attend the protest. He was overwhelmed by the support from the North Otago town which has a population of about 13,000.

    The SDHB proposal would see a five per cent funding cut to rural health services including substantially reduced emergency department visits, shorter hours and charging for some services, fewer assessment, treatment and rehabilitation beds, fewer rural inpatient bed days, no more free field eye tests or minor operations, possible cancellation of radiology services and job losses.

    Kircher organised the march following a proposal announced in May by the Southern District Health to cut five per cent funding to rural hospitals, including Oamaru. He hoped the march would send a message to the SDHB, showing the town values its health services and did not accept the proposal.
    Read more

    The march was sparked by the Southern District Health Board and its funding priorities. It is trying to cut 5% from its contract with Waitaki District Health Services (WDHS), the council-owned company that owns and operates Oamaru Hospital and provides health services in the district.
    Source: Newstalk | NZME

  30. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 9 Jul 2015
    Ageing less gracefully than was imagined
    By Geoffrey Vine
    OPINION […] The last time I was in Dunedin Public Hospital, a nurse presented me with a phone and suggested I ring a family member to ask them to bring me fish and chips or a pizza as the ward had insufficient meals to feed every patient. What this points to is the massive elephant in the room we call New Zealand: the welfare of the aged.
    Read more

    ● Geoffrey Vine is an elderly, retired Dunedin journalist and Presbyterian minister.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Fish and chips or a pizza – Dunedin Public Hospital – politicians engaged in argy-bargy about whether “unhealthy” high-fat food should be taxed to help save lives and health care costs….

      So many logic bypasses, Not surprising really, they’re heaps cheaper than surgical ones.

    • Meg55

      Ha. I can top that. A friend of a friend recently had a quadruple bypass at Dunedin Hospital. After the operation he had terrible chest congestion which was not resolved by anything the hospital had on hand. The doctor sent my friend out to a main street pharmacy to buy (at his own expense) an over-the-counter decongestant.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        “Dear ___Client__, Your surgical procedure has been scheduled for dd/mm/yyyy. Please bring bandages, band-aids, cotton balls and enough food for 3 days. It is expected that you will be discharged after 24 hours but we want to err on the safe side, don’t we, in case of postponements due to rain causing slippery floors in theatre, or the surgeon’s hours being cut for budget reasons.”

      • Elizabeth

        For that indignity (lack of medical care et al), I would sue Chief Executive Carole Heatly to within an inch of her back teeth. And take a strong look at any legal trouble to be served on the medical consultant(s) and the hospital pharmacy – given SDHB has been replaced, could I sue the Commissioner in the board’s stead. The place needs a bomb under it (with the patients safely transferred to a brand spanking new purpose-built hospital facility with NEW medical and support staff.

  31. Elizabeth

    How did this happen, Richard ?? (aren’t you the ex health board chair who couldn’t spot a Lamborghini, now you’re chair of Finance at DCC)

    ### ODT Online Sat, 11 Jul 2015
    Defining deficit not easy: Grant
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Pinning down the exact amount of Southern District Health Board’s projected deficit – which could be as high as $42 million – is proving to be difficult because of a lack of resources in the organisation, commissioner Kathy Grant says. […] The finance team lacked institutional knowledge because many business analysts had left, and the computing system used for forecasting was outdated.
    Read more

  32. Elizabeth

    “She will be as concerned with health outcomes as she is with financial performance.” –Phil Ker, Otago Polytechnic

    ### ODT Online Sun, 12 Jul 2015
    Commissioner brings work ethic, cautious approach
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Kathy Grant has stepped into the health arena to steer the financially troubled Southern District Health Board into a better position after its board was sacked because of the deficit. […] She has maintained a remarkably low profile thus far for someone in her position. She is chairwoman of the Otago Polytechnic council and a director on key city boards. […] People who have worked with her talk of a cautious approach, an aptitude for hard work, a consistent and methodical nature.
    Read more

  33. Elizabeth

    Training accreditation a problem in a number of Dunedin Hospital departments because of ageing facilities, clinical supervision and case load issues.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 16 Jul 2015
    Intensive care unit lifeline
    By Eileen Goodwin
    A proposal to upgrade Dunedin Hospital’s intensive care unit may be considered by the Ministry of Health’s capital investment committee next month. […] It is essential to Dunedin Hospital getting its ICU specialist training accreditation back.
    Read more

  34. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 17 Jul 2015
    Grant’s pay has reputation-risk component
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Officials were given permission to increase Southern District Health Board commissioner Kathy Grant’s pay to compensate for the risk to her reputation from making unpopular decisions. Labour health spokeswoman Annette King said the disclosure in newly released papers was proof the Government was using Mrs Grant to do its ”dirty work”.
    Read more

  35. Calvin Oaten

    There is a serious risk factor in Mrs Grant’s pay. The risk is that nothing changes so therefore her reputation needs compensated. Well, that seems fair and reasonable and no doubt a new precedent has been set. All budding commissioners will be onto that in a flash so what is a special needs will quickly become the norm. It was always thus.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    Let’s see how this works –
    In negotiations I say I doubt I’ll be able to make things much better in this business, so I’m offered reputation-risk $-add-on.
    Or, I am confident that I can lead the business forward and upward to greatness. Because this will enhance my reputation, I’m offered $-less – but in fact this is not what happens, they are on top dollar to start with, then monster increases each year vastly outstripping cost of living and inflation.

    What about bonuses for performance not merely for keeping on breathing?
    What about salaries commensurate with the difficulty of the position, to start with? Observation over many years doesn’t support the blah-blah that top execs are currently top-quality. Let them prove themselves with moderate starting salaries but big bonuses **when they earn them** by demonstrating excellence.

  37. Elizabeth

    The Standard: Gutting Southern health care is wrong


  38. Elizabeth

    {Relocated from another thread. Relevance. -Eds}

    Rob Hamlin
    Submitted on 2015/07/20 at 9:00 am

    • Peter

      Up to $42m deficit, board is sacked, secrecy surrounding talk of shortly timed savage cuts and now RT is saying he had assurances from Coleman there would be no slash and burn. What gives?
      Come on, it can’t all come down to seeking efficiences or is this the new oblique term for cuts? Or is smooth talk the mask for real intent?
      Please give it to us straight whether we like it or not.

      • Calvin Oaten

        Peter, Richard doesn’t do straight. Why? Because it either seems to go against his nature or he can’t because he doesn’t understand the subject. I’d back the latter myself, hence his huge need for ‘braggadocio’ which he uses in spades. Seems to work as well, as the prat keeps turning up unscathed. Funny that.

    • Elizabeth

      Supplied. ODT 20.7.15 (page 3)

      ODT 20.7.15 No slash and burn assurance clear p3

  39. Gurglars

    Richard Thomson unaware of government plans. Rhetoric unequal to reality.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      He was unaware of a Lamborghini………
      He takes unawareness to the point where, if he were lying down, the family would be involved in discussions of whether to turn off life support.

  40. Calvin Oaten

    I think it was Albert Einstein who said ‘if you repeat the same exercise expecting a different result then it’s time to look elsewhere.’ Well, we’ve seen Richard Thomson repeated three times now ( and that’s not counting the DCC) and he has been a ‘dud’ in every iteration. When contacted on Friday, he said he had had no discussion about reputation risk. Sheesh!! the man does go on ‘ad nauseum’, but seriously, there is no risk, his reputation as a bumbling incompetent was well and truly established during his chairmanship of the SDHB when the Swann fiasco occurred. He couldn’t find the answer then and asking him 30 different ways won’t alter that. He said so himself. The only real mystery is how he keeps floating to the top on a raft of crafted stupidities.

  41. Rob Hamlin

    Its worth looking at what the other Jonky commissioners (ECAN’S) up North are doing. The owners of the Waitaki Dam scheme and these bods are keen to change the status of the water going through these dams, but will have to wait until a swag of other related matters involving other irrigators and their water have survived court hearings. The details are contained in this very carefully titled McPravda article:

    In a nutshell what they want is to remove the discretion of local authorities to remove a consent to access water after said consent has legally expired. This is apparently called a ‘controlled consent’. Obviously one controlled consent is superseded by another controlled consent and so on ad infinitum.

    Can anybody here tell me what the difference is between issuing a controlled water use consent to a private scheme and handing this nation’s water over to permanent private ownership (without charge of course)? it seems to me that good use is being made of these ECAN commissioners.

    Of course if Jonky signs us up to TPPA as he promises, these rights cannot be extinguished by legislation without having to compensate these people for losing their rights to this nation’s water free of charge for ever .

    • Calvin Oaten

      Rob, I think we can reasonably expect this TPPA to be signed off sooner or later. After all, it’s the corporate conglomerates that are promoting it and it’s not difficult to see why. It will eventually happen because the politicians depend on those same conglomerates for their careers as well as their afterlives. John Key would be a prime example. The USA political scene is rife with ‘cronyism’ between politics and business. If we want to see how business and social obligations would work look no further than the latest on social relaxation facilities in our ‘privately run’ prisons, as seen on TV. It’s not about anything else but money and how to grab it.

  42. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 21 Jul 2015
    In cuckoo land over hospital
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Sacked Southern District Health Board member Dr John Chambers has lashed out at the “cloud cuckoo land” ideas he believes are causing a delay in planning the Dunedin Hospital rebuild. Dr Chambers believes the officials planning for the new clinical services building want it to be as small as possible.
    Read more

  43. Elizabeth

    Otago Daily Times complains to Ombudsman, citing public interest in plans to cut SDHB’s operating expenditure.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 21 Jul 2015
    SDHB withholds report by financial consultant
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The Southern District Health Board will not release reports written by an Auckland-based consulting firm it hired when it hit serious financial trouble this year. Citing an entitlement to “free and frank expression”, chief executive Carole Heatly yesterday refused to release the documents under the Official Information Act.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Citing an entitlement to “free and frank expression”, chief executive Carole Heatly yesterday refused to release the documents under the Official Information Act.” Some people can’t see past their sense of entitlement, believing they are above frankness and the Official Information Act. Straight answers to straight questions – that’s for lesser creatures.

      • Elizabeth

        Right! She is part of the problem.

        • Peter

          I’m beginning to think the Commisioner might need her at risk daily pay rate.
          Carole Heatly and Richard Thomson seem to be firmly in the saddle.
          What is changing? Not them, that’s for sure.

    • Peter

      Quite simply, they need to get rid of her.
      The Commissioner needs to act swiftly. We can’t afford a low life like her who seems very adept at looking after herself first.

  44. Elizabeth

    Carole Heatly “will start from scratch and appoint one CMO for the DHB”.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Jul 2015
    Chief medical officer revamp
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The Southern District Health Board is revamping the chief medical officer role after the departure of Dr David Tulloch. Dr Tulloch had not taken a high-profile role for some time, having been chief medical officer since August 2012.
    Read more

  45. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Jul 2015
    Commissioner added to Southern DHB
    ….[Commissioner Kathy Grant] said today that Angela Pitchford would join Richard Thomson and Graham Crombie as deputy commissioners. Dr Pitchford is the national director of Emergency Services at the Ministry of Health and has also spent 13 years as Clinical Support Services chair at Canterbury DHB.
    Read more

  46. Gurglars

    Barack Obama – $500,000 pa
    David Cameron – $250,000 pa
    John Key – $450,000 pa

    Carole Heatley – $500,000 pa

    Can anyone spot the anomaly?

  47. Elizabeth

    Sacked SDHB member Dr John Chambers said Dr Pitchford’s appointment was “positive”.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 23 Jul 2015
    Third SDHB deputy named
    By Carla Green
    Christchurch health professional Dr Angela Pitchford will have her work cut out for her as the third deputy commissioner to the troubled Southern District Health Board, observers say. Her appointment by commissioner Kathy Grant was announced yesterday, and she will start work this week.
    Read more

  48. Elizabeth

    Based on my experience of hospitals and medical systems on employment, family health and patient levels, I’m a powerful patient advocate – even so, I have some equally bad stuff documented on discharge of my terminally ill mother in 2013, just prior to her death – such that I grabbed copy of all her medical records (from several sources….), these have been logged with my legal advisors. May she rest in peace. Some fights have to be dropped for self-preservation. However, ANY-thing of similar kind in the years ahead will trigger immediate legal action against SDHB or whatever replaces it, I promise.

    As for Dunedin Hospital’s Orthotics Department – all staff should be replaced for lack of technical expertise and constructive additive injury to already impaired patients. I’ve used word of mouth to describe the extent of non-thinking, the non-communicative and non-restorative failure of the hospital staff concerned – their complete failure to analyse motor functions and prescribe appropriate aids and solutions. But what I found was their reputation is already in tatters about town in any case. Interesting.

    Fat-salaried CE Carole Heatly is so far removed from the reality of her hospital service failures – she should face individual legal censure.

    An apology is extraordinarily NOT enough.

    “They’ve just thrown him out with nothing,” she said.

    ### ODT Online Sun, 26 Jul 2015
    Man sent from hospital with cannula still in arm
    By Rhys Chamberlain
    An 81-year-old Mosgiel man is ”Man sent from hospital with cannula still in arm. […] Nursing and midwifery director Leanne Samuel apologised to Mr Simpson in a statement released yesterday.
    Read more

    These type stories are getting to be common currency for SDHB’s Dunedin Hospital – some are simple lack of staff care and training, others are much more complex and insidious, the product of a desensitised and incompetent workforce and management.

    • Peter

      Maybe it is his age, but I am not sure why he did not mention the cannula was still in his arm if the staff had overlooked the fact for whatever reason.
      I would have said something myself.
      Along the lines of,’Oh l think you need to take this out before I leave.’

      • Elizabeth

        Maybe confused or disorientated; he was post-surgical so maybe still under the effects of his anaesthetic, or low on salts, infection somewhere —multiple possibilities. And where were the hospital social workers to ensure general and particular welfare was a priority PRIOR to discharge – that’s their job as much as the nurses, registrar(s) and consultant(s) who do the discharge paperwork. Perhaps I should copy (with names and details removed) the Hospital discharge form and publish it here so people recognise the steps that must occur…. before they and their caregivers leave the building !!!!

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Or, if he had been told a nurse would be visiting him at home to change dressings or check on his progress, he may have thought it was left there because of some unexplained treatment to be administered by the nurse.

        • Elizabeth

          The fact his consultant didn’t present the discharge papers to him to sign off on, or to someone with full power of attorney (POA), means there was no check whatsoever on his post-hospital treatment and supports, or indeed his body and charted state just prior to discharge – and given he is diabetic and had only just emerged from surgery. Defies belief.

  49. Calvin Oaten

    Enter the ‘Joker’ in the form of commissioner Richard Thomson. He’ll have an answer after he has calculated how many $900 days it will take him. He’s the ‘Joke’ that no-one gets, with no punch line, and no laughs. A ‘sick’ joke.

  50. Elizabeth

    Financial review of Canterbury District Health Board ‘unbelievable’
    OPINION: There is a very basic disconnection between the reality of the Canterbury District Health Board’s performance, and the approach which the Health Ministry seems to be taking towards it, writes Jo Kane.
    Last updated 08:27 27/07/2015

  51. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 28 Jul 2015
    Winter ills put pressure on hospital
    By Chris Morris and Eileen Goodwin
    Dunedin Hospital is feeling the pressure after a spike in the number of patients with flu-like symptoms filling beds, it has been confirmed. […] An extra 243 patients had presented at the hospital’s Emergency Department so far this month compared with the same time last year….
    Read more

  52. Elizabeth

    ### Last updated 12:11, July 28 2015
    No ‘wholesale changes’ to District Health Boards – Jonathan Coleman
    By Stacey Kirk
    New leaked documents proposing wholesale changes to District Health Boards are unlikely to progress beyond initial discussions, says the health minister. Jonathan Coleman has been forced to assuage fears the Government was planning to overhaul the entire governance and funding structures of DHBs, after two sections of a high-level report were leaked detailing major proposals for change.
    The Capability and Capacity Review leaked to Radio New Zealand is part of a series of reviews implemented in the health sector when new Director-General of Health Chai Chuah was confirmed in the role in March. The document first suggests removing the control of District Health Boards from elected representatives in a proposed overhaul of their governance structure. In a second section, it was floated DHBs could have money withheld if they missed targets and boards would bid for shares of funding pools.
    Coleman said it was a discussion document, but not a priority.
    Read more

  53. Elizabeth

    SDHB has lowest per-person income in South Island, and third-lowest in New Zealand.”

    ### ODT Online Wed, 29 Jul 2015
    ‘Shocking’ figures highlight health board problem
    By Eileen Goodwin
    “Shocking” new figures showing per-person district health board income throughout New Zealand should prompt a rethink of health funding, Dunedin North MP Dr David Clark says. Dr Clark was asked to comment on an Otago Daily Times analysis showing the 20 health boards’ 2013-14 income, divided by the number of people each serves.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Wed, 29 Jul 2015
    ‘Starving of far South’ raised as possibility
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Gaining more transparency around the health funding formula is ”crucial” for determining whether the South is starved of health funds, University of Otago health system authority Prof Robin Gauld says. Prof Gauld has called for an independent review of the formula, which is used to distribute billions of dollars every year.
    Read more

  54. Elizabeth

    Questioned by Mrs King in Parliament, Dr Coleman said health expenditure had increased by $3.3 billion to $15.6 billion.

    ### ODT Online
    Health funding slashed $1.7b: Labour
    By Eileen Goodwin on Thu, 30 Jul 2015
    Research commissioned by the Labour Party claims health funding has been “slashed” by $1.7 billion since 2010. The claim was dismissed yesterday in Parliament by Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman, who attacked Labour’s record in managing the health budget.
    Read more

  55. Elizabeth

    In escapable proof Health Minister Coleman is not all there !!

    ### ODT Online Sat, 1 Aug 2015
    Thomson was considered for chairman’s role
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Richard Thomson was considered for the role of chairman of the embattled Southern District Health Board, papers released under the Official Information Act show. However, when contacted, Mr Thomson said he did not know a March 31 meeting disclosed by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman’s office was for that purpose.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Sat, 1 Aug 2015
    ‘Encouraged to remain silent’ on deficit
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Board members were gagged from speaking about the Southern District Health Board’s funding shortfall, sacked board member Neville Cook says.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Pay peanuts and get monkeys? I’ve always had doubts about that. What seems to apply is pay more and get monkey-wranglers, result See No Facts, Hear No Facts, and most important of all, Speak No Embarrassing Facts, Ever.

  56. Elizabeth

    Despite the perception that “all is not well” at Dunedin Hospital, it remains an excellent training facility, Dick Bunton writes.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Aug 2015
    Maintaining balance of training, healthcare
    By Richard (Dick) Bunton
    OPINION One might be forgiven for thinking that there is something terribly amiss with the state of training at Dunedin Hospital. […] Having trainees is a privilege. Their presence enhances the general environment of the hospital and the desirability of the hospital as a place to work. We have 112 such posts at present in Dunedin Hospital and we are very proud of our record with regards to the trainees’ success in completing training.
    Read more

    ● Dick Bunton is medical director of patient services and acting chief medical officer of the Southern District Health Board.

  57. Elizabeth

    The mere hint of a “new communications plan” – ahead of financial data being made public – makes the blood boil.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Aug 2015
    SDHB’s financial data not yet for public
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Southern District Health Board commissioner Kathy Grant says key financial data is being supplied to the Ministry of Health – but there is no reason to release it to the public just yet. When board members were sacked over the deficit, in June, public reporting was scrapped.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Aug 2015
    Ombudsman investigating DHB complaints
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The Office of the Ombudsman is considering three complaints about official reluctance to release information about the Southern District Health Board’s plight. The Otago Daily Times has lodged separate complaints about Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman’s office, the Ministry of Health, and the health board.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Aug 2015
    Recruitment process for CMO queried by doctors
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Southern District Health Board doctors are unhappy about the recruitment process for a new chief medical officer, and many believe the process has been “constructed” to ensure a particular outcome. […] A letter this week from the senior doctors’ union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, to chief executive Carole Heatly, obtained by the Otago Daily Times, says the board risks a “disastrous” outcome if it bungles the process.
    Read more

    Again, how soon can we get Heatly out of her job.

    • Elizabeth

      See mention of a new communication plan at (19.8.15) ODT: SDHB’s financial data not yet for public

      ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Sep 2015
      Board proves uncommunicative
      The Southern District Health Board has refused to release a media communications plan drawn up to aid board commissioners. […] In its response under the Official Information Act, the board says the communications plan will be released when the board’s new work plan is approved for release.
      Read more

  58. Elizabeth

    The numbers on greasy-chinned RT (and friends) in today’s ODT – got himself a beaut little earner:

    ● Between June 18 and July 16, Mrs Grant charged for 12 days’ work at $1400 per day, a total of $16,800 in fees.
    ● Mr Thomson charged for eight days, Mr Crombie charged for 13.5 days.
    ● Mr Thomson and Mr Crombie receive $900 per day charged. Mrs Grant’s mileage expenses were $502.
    ● Mr Thomson charged $520.5 mileage, and Mr Crombie charged $740.5 mileage.
    ● The trio charged $77.5 each for meals, and $122 each for accommodation.

    Read more at ODT: Advice cost health board $486,000

  59. Elizabeth

    Commissioners plan to release regular monthly updates to keep people informed. The first was released yesterday afternoon. █ Link to Commissioner Updates

    ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Aug 2015
    Patients come first: Health Minister
    By Allison Beckham
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman yesterday reassured Otago-Southland residents they would continue to have access to hospital and health services, despite the massive financial shakeup taking place within the Southern District Health Board. […] Yesterday Mr Coleman and Mr Thomson visited Invercargill, Gore and Queenstown Lakes hospitals, touring the facilities and talking to senior clinicians.
    Read more

    The commissioner team …. yesterday released more than a dozen finance, clinical, and policy reports, along with the commissioner’s newsletter. █ Link to Commissioner Updates

    ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Aug 2015
    Temporary CFO for health board
    By Eileen Goodwin
    A partner at accounting firm Deloitte New Zealand has been brought into the Southern District Health Board as a temporary chief finance officer. In a statement yesterday, commissioner Kathy Grant said Mike Hoshek, of Christchurch, would carry out the executive director of finance role until a permanent appointment.
    Read more

    ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Aug 2015
    Uncertainty prompts concerns for neurosurgeon
    By Eileen Goodwin
    High-flying Belgian neurosurgeon Dirk De Ridder says uncertainty at Dunedin Hospital is creating “restlessness” in the neurosurgery unit. […] Uncertainty has surrounded high-level specialties in Dunedin since Health Minister Jonathan Coleman replaced board members in June with commissioner Kathy Grant.
    Read more

  60. Elizabeth

    Thomson, wait, I thought he was brilliant at finance. Why do we need Deloitte when we’ve got RT……..

    ### ODT Online Sun, 30 Aug 2015
    Use of pricey contractors defended
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Hiring expensive contractors at the Southern District Health Board is necessary to keep the organisation running, deputy commissioner Richard Thomson says. A partner at accounting firm Deloitte New Zealand, Mike Hoshek, of Christchurch, is acting chief financial officer for the board until the position is filled. And it was recently revealed the board spent $486,000 over 13 months on Alma Consulting. The bill for the Auckland consulting firm will increase because its work continues.
    Read more

  61. Gurglars

    What are the finance staff at the Health board doing? Is there any? If not what do the backup staff including the CEO do? Surely she has SOME financial skills at $400k pa, if not what are her skills and why do they attract such a salary? After three months in the new regime at $1400 and $900 per diem one would suggest that the new appointed management scheme have a self-fulfilling prophecy, the longer they procrastinate and appoint consultants the more money they take away and the greater cost to ratepayers and taxpayers.

    So far with zero benefits.

  62. Elizabeth

    Horrendous ‘SDHB’ effect pending for Kaan’s Catering Supplies, leading to downturn for harbourside business and employment.

    “We’re meant to hang on and keep supplying them [Compass] and they could come and say tomorrow . . . ‘that’s it’.”

    ### ODT Online Sat, 12 Sep 2015
    Kaan’s awaiting hospital decision
    By Eileen Goodwin
    A Dunedin produce supplier remains in limbo over its agreement with Dunedin Hospital’s kitchen worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Kaan’s Catering Supplies has waited months to find out if it will be required when Compass Group takes over the Southern District Health Board’s food service next month.
    Read more

    █ Blame Richard Thomson, personally.

    • Douglas

      Yes. Antonia will put in a bid and Donkey Dick will go to the knackers yard!

    • Calvin Oaten

      Compass, is the explosive ‘brain fart’ of the SDHB to save nickels and dimes. ‘Knuckle head’ Richard Thomson is the cheer leader which kind of says it all really. Like the prison’s Serco it’ll all probably end in tears and grief. Another ‘neo-liberal wacky idea.

    • Tom

      Kaan has never supported local growers, and brings in his produce from Canterbury and further north. No different from what Compass will do. Don’t expect any change then as all the produce will come from out of town, no matter who the supplier might be.

  63. Calvin Oaten

    WHAT!!! Isn’t Jinty going to make the good ship Dunedin and all who sail in her, adopt sustainability as a lifestyle? Or is she the only one who knows it.

  64. Elizabeth

    It’s not enough, by far.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 14 Sep 2015
    Health board gets $7m to pay its bills
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The financially stressed Southern District Health Board has been given a $7 million cash injection so it can pay its bills, Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman has confirmed. Decisions on giving the board more money would not be made until a 2015-16 budget is agreed, Dr Coleman said in a statement.
    Read more

  65. Elizabeth

    Loving this at ODT Online:

    Just enough – maybe
    Submitted by keithmcc on Mon, 14/09/2015 – 11:17am.

    Well that should just about pay for the commissioners, their new round of consultants and all the other hangers on the government has foisted onto the SDHB.
    It might even pay the redundancy payments for the food department people about to be flung on the scrap heap. Just maybe.

  66. Elizabeth

    ### Thu, 17 Sep 2015
    Government pledges funds for Dunedin Hospital upgrades
    The government’s just pledged $22.5m towards work at Dunedin Hospital. The money’s for urgent maintenance and the upgrade of several departments.
    Ch39 Link [no video link]

  67. Elizabeth

    Well well well. What is GOVERNANCE. There to remedy but how much blame on those particular shoulders. Past and present contributions of RT should be seen in light of this information (God help DCC Finance).

    ### ODT Online Sat, 3 Oct 2015
    Lack of financial overview identified
    By Eileen Goodwin
    That no one person was specifically responsible for the bottom line at Southern District Health Board was a factor in its financial problems, papers the board tried to keep secret show. The board released the papers after the Office of the Ombudsman decided to investigate a complaint by the Otago Daily Times. The board is holding on to a third paper, which continues to be the subject of an Ombudsman’s investigation.
    Read more

  68. Gurglars

    Surely Carole Heatly was ultimately responsible for financial oversight.

    Otherwise what were her responsibilities? And more importantly what are her duties now.

    It seems from her British experiences that she is a cracker for getting paid to not have a role at places she is employed.

  69. Elizabeth

    The commissioner regime conducts its business entirely behind closed doors. Government wants to extend the regime by scrapping the scheduled 2016 election.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 16 Feb 2016
    Submitters slate scrapping of SDHB election
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Canning the health board election could undermine services at the Southern District Health Board by allowing secretive decisions without public scrutiny, Dr John Chambers’ submission on a Bill to scrap the poll says. The emergency medicine doctor’s view is one of six submissions on the election-cancelling Bill before Parliament.
    Read more

  70. Elizabeth

    Fri, 22 Apr 2016
    ODT: Health board poll ruled out
    A select committee has recommended no changes to a Bill that will scrap this year’s election for Southern District Health Board members. The Government is passing a law to extend commissioner Kathy Grant’s tenure until 2019 in order to oversee deficit reduction at the board.

  71. Calvin Oaten

    Nice one! Democracy moves aside for the continuation of the commissioners’ revenue streams. RT must have a direct line to God as he pulls money from a multitude of directions, for no obvious benefit to anyone or any system but himself.

  72. Elizabeth

    Fri, 13 May 2016
    ODT: Bill to scrap SDHB election passes
    The Bill to scrap this year’s Southern District Health Board election passed its third and final reading in Parliament yesterday. The New Zealand Public Health and Disability (Southern DHB) Elections Bill passed 95-26 votes.

  73. Gurglars

    Can anyone enlighten me as to what Ms Kathy Grant, Messers Richard Thomson and Graham Everywhere have achieved apart from spending $3200 per day and wasting $240,000+ on a primary school standard Survey that will not improve financial results one iota.

    Staff morale, performance and skills need no evaluation, but the middle and top management definitely need scrutiny.

    Will that happen?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Partial answer to your query (above) Gurglars, “Can anyone enlighten me as to what Ms Kathy Grant, … have achieved…..” : Outstanding Contribution to Furtherance of Descent from Ideal. See
      “In an “ideal world”, the Southern District Health Board would have complied with its obligation … There is no discretion under the Act about whether to hold the meetings; they are required, she confirmed.”

      Back in the pre-corporate past, when I decided which rules to obey and which to ignore with neither explanation nor apology, my Mum used to come out with pointed reproofs about dumb insolence, plus reminders of my place in the pecking order along the lines of did I think someone had died and made me God?

  74. Elizabeth

    SDHB Commissioner (a lawyer) FAILS to identify all legislation that applies to her term, now extended term, before commencement of “the business” – and her deputies FAILED to do similar. Or was this DELIBERATE.

    Sun, 22 May 2016
    Lack of meetings unexplained
    In an “ideal world”, the Southern District Health Board would have complied with its obligation under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act to hold monthly advisory committee meetings, commissioner Kathy Grant says. […] Mrs Grant acknowledged that the Act covering the commissioner regime required the meetings all along.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Mama Reads The Newspaper
      “Lack of meetings unexplained”, the annotated edition.
      She declined to explain why the meetings were suspended when the board members were sacked last June.

      [“Dumb insolence! Lose the attitude,” advises my late Mama]

      “I’m not going to be drawn down that track. In the first instance our focus was … achieving as much as we could.” ……

      [“Oh, so you think you’re above the law, above ‘wasting time’ with the people to whom you are ultimately answerable, remember where your salary comes from missy,” continues the ghostly voice of old-time integrity]

      She said she had discussed the matter with Ministry of Health officials at the start of her appointment, but declined to disclose their advice…….

      [“Hmmm, would that mean you got a reminder that you’re not the only person prepared to accept a large income BESTOWED ON THEIR SAY-SO and perhaps you’d like to consider whether you’d like to spend more time with your family? Or as we used to say, shape up or ship out.”]

      “In an ideal world” the meetings should have been held.

      [“In a dysfunctional world people go around randomly embracing anarchy, on a personal basis, not applying to anyone else. You have to be a long way further up the food chain in NZ before you can get away with that, and even then it may not last past the next election.”]

      • Elizabeth

        That’s telling ‘her’.

      • Calvin Oaten

        Easy Hype, Don’t forget who she is saddled with as fellow commissioners. Two of the most “likely lads” around looking for a cool $900 bucks a day. And note: “We are focused and want to be ‘pro Active’ in that space.” What better expression can you expect? The lady is clearly out of her depth. But then, in a ‘bottomless pit’, what else?

  75. Elizabeth

    Of people like Richard Thomson having gone to The Dark Side, with Lucky Kathy

    Sun, 5 Jun 2016
    ODT: Trying to change the culture*
    OPINION The axe fell on the Southern District Health Board a year ago this month, and its board members were sacked. Since then a commissioner has run the board, largely out of the public eye. Her term was recently extended by three years. Health reporter Eileen Goodwin assesses progress. A few days after Kathy Grant was appointed to run the Southern District Health Board, she asked health officials a question. Had the beleaguered board done anything right, even one thing? The Wellington health bureaucrats were evidently in no mood to be generous. “Nothing,” came the reply. […] Joining the commissioner at an interview this week is deputy commissioner Richard Thomson, a veteran of Otago health who survived the fallout from the board’s sacking. The pair talk with pride about leeway granted by Wellington to do things differently without the extreme budget pressure that became bitter and corrosive for the previous board. It appears to be the trade-off for the loss of local control, although the pair will not admit this, of course.

    *Awarded FIRST PRIZE —“ODT Story of The Week that Became Rancid Competition”

    Meeting - What if we dont change [] twkd whatifdunedin[] – tweaked by whatifdunedin

  76. Gurglars

    Allowing Richard T, carte blanche would be like making the rabbit the gaoler for the lettuce. On almost all occasions and specifically the $1 million lights budget unused RT will quickly spend it on some other pet or crazy project. He has little or no concept of public prudence and no compunction about spending yours when, in his own business, I am certain any spending would be perused much more carefully.

    The epitome of an elected person spending other people’s money.

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