SDHB underfunded, no bandage

hospital2 []

Review of the population based funding formula completed
Ministry of Health news article
22 December 2015
A five yearly review of the population based funding formula (PBFF) for district health boards (DHBs) has been completed and will be incorporated into DHB’s 2016/17 Funding Advice.
The funding formula is a technical tool used to help equitably distribute the bulk of district health board funding according to the needs of each DHB’s population. The formula takes into account the number of people who live in each DHB catchment, their age, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and sex. It also has mechanisms to compensate DHBs who service rural communities and areas of high deprivation.
The funding covers a range of health services including primary care, hospital and community care, health of older people, and mental health.
The review recommended no structural changes to the overall model but proposed several changes, including to the rural adjuster to better reflect DHB population and geography.
In 2015/16 the PBFF distributed a total of $11.4 billion to DHBs. DHBs will not receive less funding as a result of the review.
Read more

Population-based funding formula Link

The embattled board – whose members were dismissed this year over a persistent deficit – will not get any extra cash (apart from deficit support) until the changes take effect next July.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 Dec 2015
Review helps SDHB a little
By Eileen Goodwin
A review of the health funding model has revealed what many long suspected – the Southern District Health Board is not receiving its fair share of health dollars. A Cabinet paper on the Ministry of Health review was released yesterday. […] The formula is essentially a head count with adjustments for demographics, deprivation, and other factors.
Read more


All up, 561 employees received more than $100,000, compared with 521 last year – 413 were in medical or dental roles.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 Dec 2015
Doubling of DHB staff on $400,000+
By Eileen Goodwin
The number of Southern District Health Board staff earning over $400,000 more than doubled in the last financial year, the board’s annual report shows. The 2014-15 report shows 13 staff received more than $400,000, compared with six the previous year. Chief executive Carole Heatly has been overtaken in the pay stakes by two employees earning $520,000-$530,000.
Read more

The numbers: (via ODT)
561 staff earning $100,000 or more
13 staff earning more than $400,000
2 staff earning $520,000 to $530,000
10.7 executive management staff earning almost $2.8 million
$357,000 board members’ fees

Source: Southern District Health Board annual report

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: – hospital2


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91 responses to “SDHB underfunded, no bandage

  1. natalie wilson

    But at least they have a fancy new PR campaign, as seen in ODT 19/12/12 !! Talking about ‘Creating our Future’ and ‘it’s up to us’ in the same week that special legislation was created in Parlt which allowed for the suspension of a democratically-elected board & continuation of a politically-appointed Commissioner until 2019. Bit of a gap between rhetoric and reality? Think how much privatisation can be implemented without proper oversight and accountability in 4 years? Compass is just the thin end of the wedge. Take a look at what is happening in the UK with the NHS, we are about 18 months behind in terms of the privatisation of the health system. Same pattern: chronic underfunding, crises are manufactured, people get angry, hand it over to private capital as a ‘solution’. Worked so well with Serco. It was also interesting to read in UK how many MPs have financial interests in private health providers. Wonder what a similar survey would reveal in NZ?

  2. photonz

    Taxpayer funding for the NZ health sector has gone up by several billion dollars since 2008 (last time I looked it was a 42% increase from memory, over the period of the current govt).

    So where is all the money going?

    • natalie

      to corrupt systems like HBL and private multinationals with tax havens

      • photonz

        Should be easy as pie for the DHBs to save 1% then.

        • natalie

          What? Inanity rules eh, photonz. You know the old saying: “It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

        • photonz

          Well if there as much excess and waste as you say, then savings will be simple.

        • natalie

          Sorry, have gone past my ‘dealing with dumb’ for the day. Enjoy your delusion.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Where there’s a will there’s a way. Where there’s an agenda at odds with the original and (public assumed) ongoing purpose the will strongly resembles ill-will towards us, the public, the taxpayers:
          “Chief executive Carole Heatly’s response to a Labour Party information request says the [cost cutting] “quick hits” include $863,000 from personnel and $435,000 from clinical supplies.”

          But what’s the point of appointing a commissioner in place of democratically elected board and leaving them in place for longer than the bare minimum required to get ready for the democratic process to replace them with our own representatives? What’s the point unless they do “our” will, us meaning the politicians who appointed them.
          Once the democratic process has been overturned (Brownlee, Christchurch) during a period of chaos real or overdramatised, and their own man or woman installed as commissioner, we’ll be lucky to see democracy restored. There are so many reasons to postpone it, because the organisation (hospital or whatever it is) will never be perfect, there will always be challenges and unmet needs. Trouble is, the longer these expensive interlopers are ruling at the Minister’s behest the more resources are channelled away from the needs of the people who are supposed to be the reason for the organisation’s existence.

        • photonz

          You make no sense Natalie. You say there is huge wastage.

          Then scoff at the idea that savings can be made.

          Make your mind up.

  3. Gurglars

    Simple – Carol Heatley- $500k+, Commissioner- $1400 per diem, assistant commissioners- $900 per diem, PR consultant probably $200k at least.

    So where do doctors and nurses and maintenance persons come into that little overhead?

    • photonz

      I suppose at least we’re getting some things, like elective surgeries going from 118,000 to 162,000, so that’s a fairly significant increase.

      And they’ve more than doubled the number of kids who can now get free GP visits.

      And we now have DHBs having to regularly report to their communities on how well they are doing against important benchmarks like ER waiting times, and waiting times for cancer treatment, vaccination levels etc, so that’s good too.

      But things like management salaries do seem to be very extravagant in a health system that needs even more money.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        The term “elective” really gets on my wick – “like elective surgeries going from 118,000 to 162,000, so that’s a fairly significant increase.” It sounds like nice-to-haves, like face-lifts and boob enhancements. In reality it’s treatments without which people exist, can hardly call it living, in pain, disability, conditions steadily worsening. Eventually if they manage to get on the waiting list and don’t get bumped off – because if on the waiting list they have to be treated within a certain time, so the way to achieve that is to reassess them and refer them back to their GP instead – they are often further damaged, have been compensating for pain or disability by over-using their body and causing overuse. Or they haven’t been able to exercise, are seriously unfit, lost their job, and have even dropped out of social activities. All of these mean their chances of a good recovery and full life are poor compared with getting treated when the need first becomes sufficient to warrant treatment.
        It’s like not painting your roof, waiting till it is rusty to the point that holes have developed. Delay has to be carefully evaluated so as not to make expensive false economies.

        • photonz

          I agree – it’s not an accurate description.

          At least we’re getting 44,000 more of them done each year than we previously were.

  4. Peter

    It’s probably a truism that we could pay half the salaries some ‘top’ managers garner for themselves and we would receive the same level of incompetence. Try me out.
    At least that money is, theoretically, saved for the frontline.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I’d like to see recruiting for those ‘top’ jobs include an element of tendering. Let applicants ask for the salary they want, then recruiters have another basis to compare Mrs A with Mr B. And hold back some of the recruiters’ fee, for a proving period. OK so I’m dreaming of reasonable salaries for competent high-ups who aren’t carried away by their own fabulous overpriced egos.

  5. Gurglars

    Thirteen staff on SDHB earning (sorry receiving there is no way they earn it) over $400,000 per annum and the SDHB wants more money to run itself?

    Why is it that public servants believe that they should be paid on some scale that does not include worth.

    The old hoary chestnuts about salaries competing with the private sector is a nonsense. In the private sector if you preside over an entity not capable of profiting or staying within a sensible budget you are offloaded and often disgraced.

    In the public sector, you may in the case of failure, incompetence or worth get an increase. How do we get back control of the public entities we vote for?

    • Hype O'Thermia

      There’s also the weird belief that the more money a person administers the more they should be paid. For the most highly developed skill look at a beneficiary household where one member has high health and supervision needs, where the budget is managed with such expertise that there is the occasional treat, and no visits to food banks.
      I know one such family and am in awe of the mainstay adult. Now if we had people of that calibre in SDHB…..

  6. Elizabeth

    ‘Chartered global management accountant’ fills the gap but will it help.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 26 Dec 2015
    Financial officer appointed to SDHB
    By John Lewis
    The chief financial officer for the Meteorological Service of New Zealand has been appointed to take control of the Southern District Health Board’s finances. SDHB chief executive Carole Heatly announced this week Clive Smith would fill the role from March next year.
    Read more

  7. Elizabeth

    The blighted hospital likely has more of same awaiting public reporting. While patients and staff suffer that distress, chief executive Carole Heatly’s public statements feel to be without SOLUTION or HUMANITY.
    Good on Mr McLean for speaking out – what a dreadful long list of pain and hopelessness to endure.
    THANKS to Eileen Goodwin and ODT for carrying the story.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 29 Dec 2015
    Urology department ‘hugely disorganised’
    By Eileen Goodwin
    Having spent five months with a catheter for an enlarged prostate, Dave McLean had surgery in the private sector after giving up on what he calls a “disorganised” urology department at Dunedin Hospital. […] The last straw was being told he faced a two-month wait for a biopsy in the public sector.
    Read more

  8. Without being disrespectful to Mr McLean, he said
    “I believe the urology department is hugely disorganised.”
    That is the understatement of the year. Disorganised be damned. Their job was to take the piss out of him. And they can’t even do that.

  9. Elizabeth

    Ridiculous salary for a mere academic to do SDHB spin. Feel the hollow echoes already.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 20 Jan 2016
    New appointment at SDHB
    The Southern District Health Board has appointed a new head of communications. Dr Nicola Mutch, marketing and communications manager at Otago Polytechnic, will start work next month. Vacant since September when Steve Addison departed, the position pays up to $145,000, the Otago Daily Times understands.
    Read more

    █ The new chief medical officer, Dr Nigel Millar, and new chief financial officer, Clive Smith, have been confirmed previously.

  10. Gurglars

    A meteorologist!

    Looks like Climate Change is the cause of the SDHB problems!

  11. Calvin Oaten

    She worked for Amnesty International and the Otago polytechnic so that’s a handy attribute for hospital communications duties. Communication and Marketing that’s worth $145,000pa must involve rounding up a lot of sick people to make the place pay. But then the already sick can’t get a look in now, so she has a Herculean task to make an impact. Maybe the whole place is just a hoax to cover the sweet number of overpaid sweet lobs for the gifted.

  12. Elizabeth

    SDHB scheduled to go before health select committee in Parliament today for its annual review.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Feb 2016
    SDHB’s hit list to cut $4.1m
    By Eileen Goodwin
    The existence of a list of cost-cutting “quick hits” has been disclosed at the Southern District Health Board as it seeks to cull $4.1 million from its budget. Chief executive Carole Heatly’s response to a Labour Party information request says the “quick hits” include $863,000 from personnel and $435,000 from clinical supplies.
    Read more

    ODT: Oz consulting firm to do hospital planning
    The same firm – [Sapere Research Group] – has written a long-awaited report on the future of health services in the Wakatipu, which the ministry refuses to release. The report looks at the possibility of removing Lakes District Hospital from direct control of the health board, and into a community health trust.

  13. Anonymous

    The people involved in these schemes come across as evil. At times it looks like they even thrive on the harm they create. I assume their world view is warped and the ridiculous salaries they give each other allows the peace of mind of believing they will never experience the frustration and pain the rest of society lives with in the health system. Through a passive media they are serving up crap savings to the vulnerable and, in Dunedin, figuratively forcing them to chew on it.

  14. natalie

    I agree with much of what you say, Anonymous. But I think that, at least locally, the media has been thorn in the side of the SDHB. Eileen Goodwin has done some great reporting and this is one occasion where a local, independent paper like the ODT has helped a lot. This is evidenced by their continued attempts to get information through OIA requests and the fact they have several complaints before the Ombudsman when these have been denied by the SDHB.

  15. Elizabeth

    GC is also the chairman of Dunedin City Holdings Ltd.

    ### Tue, 16 Feb 2016
    Nightly Interview: Graham Crombie
    It’s been six months since a commissioner and three deputies were employed to manage the Southern District Health Board. They’ve just launched a new programme aimed at getting feedback from past and present patients. It’s part of an effort to increase community engagement, and deputy commissioner Graham Crombie joins us to talk about it.
    Ch39 Video

    • natalie

      Ha, straight out of an Orwellian Ministry of Truth! Spin, spin, spin a fake ‘public engagement’ while privatising the health system behind closed doors. If in any doubt, have a look at what is happening to the NHS. We aren’t far behind.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Feb 2016
      UK firm to help SDHB find itself
      By Eileen Goodwin
      A London-based consulting firm hired to run patient feedback sessions will help the Southern District Health Board to find its “vision, values, and behaviour”, chief executive Carole Heatly says. Tim Keogh, a partner at April Strategy, of London, would “facilitate” public feedback sessions next month in Dunedin, Invercargill, and Alexandra.
      Read more


      SDHB chief executive Carole Heatly said the board only had five days to schedule 16 sessions across its district.

      ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Feb 2016
      Call for SDHB to ‘get real’
      By Louise Scott
      Queenstown residents say their concerns are being ignored as a Southern District Health Board roadshow to get feedback on health services bypasses the town. […] meetings asking for feedback from patients and families about their experiences with the Southern District Health Board services were to be held in Dunedin, Invercargill and Alexandra next month, but none was scheduled for Queenstown.
      Read more

  16. photonz

    Those against privatisation seldom realise the huge amount they gain from a partially privatised health system. .

    Currently just under 1.5m Kiwis have private heallth cover. Effectively those who can afford it pay TWICE – once for the public system, and again for private. But they seldom use the public system.

    If we didn’t have have private care, the SAME public system, with the SAME funding, would have to cope with around 50% more people. Instead of 3m people to cope with, it would have to cope with the extra 1.5m on private as well.

    • russandbev

      What you say is correct but what you must take into account is that the insurers are creaming it, not taxpayers. The reality is that most old people cannot afford health insurance – basic hospital cover with a reasonable excess costs $100 per week and this is unaffordable for most. The other factor is that most of the conditions that hit old people are not treated in private hospitals anyway – when is the last time you saw someone with a heart attack or a stroke or cancer heading to a private hospital?

      As well as this, we have the ludicrous system whereby doctors and specialists who are employed in the public sector also set themselves up as private providers. Is it moral that a orthopaedic surgeon for example can say to a patient that urgently needs hip replacement that he is too busy to see them as a public patient, but can make time in a week or so if that patient comes up with $40k to pay for private treatment?

      What amazes me most however is that someone like Richard Thomson who was dismissed from the SDHB in the aftermath of the Swann fraud, and whose only obvious experience and skillset is owning a chain of nicknack shops, is assisting at the helm of the SDHB. The rates of pay for Commissioners is extraordinary and the rate of pay for the CEO is nothing short of criminal. The whole of the health system is in urgent need of reorganisation but this will not happen when people like Minister Coleman are at the helm.

      The only thing that these people can provide is spin and bullshit and that is the last thing that this country needs.

      • photonz

        Your claim that insurers are “creaming it” doesn’t gel with the fact that the vast majority of Kiwis with health insurance are with Southern Cross -(who are a not-for-profit organisation).

        And why is it that everybody wants to give more money to a system that they complain is badly run with overpaid top-heavy management?

        Right now a very large portion of funding for our health system comes from people who don’t use it.

        That’s fantastic for the rest of us who get astonishing value by getting far more health care than we ever pay for.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Since people in the middle and high income brackets are willing to pay extra for health care, wouldn’t it make more sense to increase taxation and put the increase into a public health service that is up to the job required this century – “elective” surgery and all? It was obvious that when private health insurance and the increase in private hospitals came to NZ not only would we develop a 2-tier health system, but the most articulate and influential individuals would be disengaged from the issues of the public “free” health service. And that has happened, taking eyes and pressure off the public system, resulting in it being skimped, downgraded, poorly maintained in every way until it got so bad it was beyond ignoring. At that stage it’s hard to restore. Expensive too, like a house with roof, wiring, plumbing and piles all having been deteriorating for years with no maintenance. A house is easy, it can be pulled down and another built from scratch while the owner lives in a rental. Health system, not easy at all, because people keep on getting sick and injured. The need to pay twice in order to get treated adequately once is absurd, both personally and society wide.

      • photonz

        So you want to put MORE money into a system that’s had 50% more money during this government, and people are complaining about it more than ever?

        If the public health system had a monopoly and there were no other options, they could provide really bad service and really bad value for money, and there’s nothing anybody could do about it.

        When waiting lists got really bad, there would be no alternative – no way of taking pressure off the public system.

        And far from being run down, with 50% more money than it had a few years ago, we have the best vaccination rates we’ve ever had, doing way more (44,000 more) operations every year than previously, doing all sorts of procedures we didn’t previously do, and the number of children getting free GP visits has just gone up by 100% (now free for under 13).

        So for all the whinging and whining, we are doing significantly better than we were just a few years ago.

        Yes we can always do more.

        But pretty much everyone I’ve ever heard that wants more money spent on health, all want someone ELSE (not themselves) to pay for it.

        • anna

          More drivel from photonz. The most expensive and needed arms of healthcare are provided by a public service. Private don’t provide any A&E service and public hospitals often clean up after private hospital stuff ups. Saw this in personal experience at Dunedin Hospital with friend who had gone to Mercy and ended up in A&E 3 times with complications. And staff said it was not unusual. So private get the $$ and public hospitals get to clean up the mess and complications! Yep, photonz, the mixture of private/public healthcare works really well….for the private sector!

        • photonz

          Anna – you’re delusional if you think the system could cope with 50% more people, with no more money.

          And there’s nothing wrong with people with private insurance using the public system for emergencies – they have paid for it. Probably much MORE for it than most of us.

          If there is to be just a public health system, then EVERYONE needs to pay thousands more a year.

          Or do you just want the benefits, but want someone ELSE to pay for it?

        • Hype O'Thermia

          I want the same amount of money as now to go into the health system, the public health system – didn’t you understand? The two tier system is bad – no photonz, not going to explain it again for you. Luxurious surroundings for A-class people, rooms with grotty old bathrooms for peasantry. Though, as Anna pointed out, even A-class people end up in Public for emergencies, non-elective procedures and fixing private health care stuffups.
          “If the public health system had a monopoly and there were no other options, they could provide really bad service and really bad value for money…” if the professionals doing the actual patient care work were motivated by shallow incentives. But if they were shallow uncaring types they’d be working somewhere else, earning more, getting more bonuses and freebies. So it’s a crap argument. Some businesses/services are ideally suited for competition. Roger-gnomes sit on their toadstools and proclaim that since competition is good in some cases it is good in all. Shallow, shoddy “reasoning” on a par with the S Dunedin cycleway design – great in theory if you don’t think it through in detail, absolute moneywasting crap in practice.

        • photonz

          Hype – do you really think we could spend the same as we do now, but include an extra 1.5 million people currently catered for in private surgery, and not have a massive downgrade of services?

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Times have changed, photonz. Maybe there’s a reason behind “doing way more (44,000 more) operations every year than previously” – such as vastly different methods eg laparoscopic surgery, microsurgery, making it possible to do things that couldn’t have been done at all, things that took hours longer, and for which recovery took much longer so hospital beds were occupied much longer. This ties in with “doing all sorts of procedures we didn’t previously do” – because they were impossible! In my lifetime heart transplants were impossible >> possible at high risk of failure >> routine. Re-attaching a severed hand? Kidney? Science fiction, surely! Shunts and stents and hip and knee replacements are common, the materials steadily improving and the procedures less invasive, taking up less time in theatre and less time before patients are up and about.

          With adequate funding the people in pain waiting for procedures so they can get on with their lives would be fitter, in better condition to make good recovery and return to the workforce or self-care – and please bear in mind that a great deal of community supportive work is done by retired people. Being in the workforce is not the only reason that treating people’s suffering is a good investment, even for those who don’t see past money to the value of humane attitudes in society.

        • Calvin Oaten

          photonz; an excellent ‘Neoliberal’ response. Users pay is the only way to go, along with consistent tax relief for the ‘one percenters’. If the peasants can’t afford to go private, TOUGH, that’s the way it is. I hope photonz, that as you progress through the aging process that you are blessed with good health or are already in the ‘one percenters’ club. Interestingly it’s those club members who make the decisions, like the latest meal providers, not to mention the waiting lists, despite your claiming the vast increases in funding. Neither you nor anyone else knows how much of that ends up on the front line after the bureaucrats, consultants, commissioners, deadbeats and do-gooders all have their clipping of the ticket first. Still you will get total appreciation from Mr Key and his ideological ‘hucksters’.

        • photonz

          Calvin – you’re off the mark in most of what you’ve said

          – Neoliberals want only private health care – something I’ve never suggested or wanted.

          – if it’s only “one percenters” who can afford private health insurance in NZ as you claim, how come 30% of Kiwis have it?

          – it’s not MY claim of a 50% increase in funding from under $10b to $15b. It’s treasury figures for what the government has actually spent.

          As for the argument that there is a huge amount of wastage in the public system, so we should give it more money…………..

      • anna

        photonz, you clearly have no understanding of the basic issues. Obviously viewing it all through neo-Liberal lenses. Life’s too short to argue with intellectual dwarves. Hope you don’t get sick and find the ‘closed’ sign on Dunedin Hospital.

        • photonz

          Are you interested in discussing the topic, or would you rather just be abusive?

          Bringing 1.5 million people back into the public system for things like elective surgery, would obviously result in massive cost rises.

          We’d ALL have to pay MORE just to get the SAME level of health care as we do now.

          Are you happy to pay more just to get the same service you do now?

        • Calvin Oaten

          photonz; “I’m off the mark in most of what I’ve said.” You say, “how come 30% of Kiwis have private health insurance?” Because they are scared of something going wrong on their health front. Can they afford it? Not without forsaking other essentials, until it hits home. I myself as a self-employed many years ago signed up for insurance, an all embracing cover. Next year the premium was seriously escalated and the cover reduced. Out went Dr’s visits, out went trivial procedures, leaving really only life threatening problems, which thankfully I didn’t experience. A couple of years later the premium escalated again, and even the majors were partial with excesses applied. That was it for me and I cancelled. Result, several years of cash down the drain for nothing but the welfare of the insurance industry. photonz, just check where fully insured health systems operate, like the USA and see where it heads. Health is the biggest financial scam on the planet and NZ is rapidly catching up. Trust me, once the insurance industry has used their clout to force governments to succumb to it that’s the middle and lower classes out in the cold. Insurance actuarial stats will dictate that death is the logical solution. Watch for it photonz.

        • photonz

          Calvin – your health insurance money didn’t go down the drain –
          it paid for people’s operations.

          In exactly the same way that I’ve paid thousands each year into the public health system, but haven’t used it – but it’s paid for people’s health care.

          You’re hatred of insurance companies and profits is skewing your perspective, because the vast majority of people with private health care in NZ are part of Southern Cross. And it doesn’t make any profits.

          I’ve never advocated for and don’t want a fully private health service like the USA.

          But most people in NZ using the public health service are significantly better off because 1.5 million people buy private care, as well as paying for the public service that they don’t use.

          Are there any sectors of New Zealand that you are not predicting doomsday scenarios for?

      • Hype O'Thermia

        photonz – “do you really think we could spend the same as we do now” – yes.
        Private insurance, private hospital and clinic buildings and facilities and materials, government subsidies / tax breaks……… Health-associated spending that is outside the public health system *because* people can’t access it in a reasonable time. I don’t mean people shouldn’t be able to access ANY health care except that provided by the government. What I mean is that what we have looks like old-fashioned balance scales. Public gets worse, so more people feel afraid not to take out health insurance. Private system gets bigger and stronger and people say it’s so much more efficient >> more perceived need to strain the household budget to afford private insurance.
        Efficiency, yes – all procedures are neatly scheduled. No accident and emergency arrivals – at any hour of the day or night, sometimes by the bus-load, to upset schedules and bed allocation and rosters, right through to meals required for the next day. Apples v toaster-ovens, absurd comparison, however this does not seem to occur to those who advocate insurance and praise the 2-tier system.

        • photonz

          If not for the private system, when I need a procedure at hospital the wait would be horrendous compared to what it is now. Because of the private system, my access is faster.

          Not only are those people in the private system increasing my access to public health by not being there – they’re also on average paying a lot more than me INTO the public system.

          That’s a double benefit to me and anyone using the public system.

  17. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Feb 2016
    SDHB forecasting ‘ugly’ $35.9m deficit
    By Eileen Goodwin
    ….Commissioner Kathy Grant spoke to the Otago Daily Times yesterday after appearing before Parliament’s health select committee, where she told MPs the 2015-16 forecast deficit was $35.9 million. Mrs Grant said the figure was “pretty ugly and large”, but the situation was improving.
    Read more

  18. Gurglars

    $1400 per day, $900 per day, $900 per day, and over $500,000 per annum and counting has done nothing to provide southern citizens comfort that its health board can be run sensibly and efficiently whilst providing proper services.

    When are Kathy Grant and Richard Thomson and Carole Heatley going to give us a clue as to their value at the above costs? We have heard no sensible meaningful dissertation about improving services whilst cutting costs. All we have to show for the last few years is a bungled attempt to provide poor food at a cheaper cost which is unacceptable to the senior recipients.

    When are the commissioners or board or government going to realise that the cost of the people at the top is not warranted under any rational measure.

  19. Elizabeth

    The above exchanges are why I rarely engage in debates, I like to ‘not be persuaded’ – but essentially just not a debater, don’t have the skills, brain or patience for it. I like to be educated and entertained by others who try, on some subjects, in this case a very serious one. There is no one best position, each of us with experience or knowledge of the health system must dare to continue as we find it: reliable in crisis (not always), impoverished and under-resourced (in some very essential and critical areas), frustrating (!!), expensive (in public and in private – it all costs), ill-managed (in some evident tiers and not discounting the commissioner system or the chief executive role and lack of public communication skills), my list grows but the afternoon has other work need.

    Won’t be long until there’s a new health/hospital/SDHB thread(s) here – MSM will repeatedly dish us something to worry at.

    (Come On Eileen) ……[Goodwin]

    These people round here
    Wear beaten-down eyes sunk in smoke-dried faces
    They’re so resigned to what their fate is
    But not us (no, never)
    No, not us (no, never)
    We are far too young and clever (remember)
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye
    And you’ll hum this tune forever

    [Thanks, Dexys Midnight Runners]

    • photonz

      Elizabeth, I try to look at the overall picture, rather than cherry picked anecdotes that can often (sometimes deliberately so) be used to give a misleading picture.

      Just because a foundry has closed down with the lost of 24 jobs, that should not be looked at isolation to give a negative picture, especially while ignoring that we actually have 2000 more jobs in total than we did two years ago.

      Similarly the media can blow up the fact that SDHB has been asked to save just half of 1%, but won’t report something 100 times bigger than that – a 50% increase in the health budget over recent years.

      Or reporting someone had a long wait for surgery, but not mentioning the 44,000 extra people who got surgery last year, who wouldn’t have previously.

      Or complaining about access to primary health care, but barely a whisper from anyone that 100% more children have just become eligible for free GP visits.

      Or pointing inconsistencies like people wanting more money for a system they say is badly run and inefficient.

      Or that there is no room for even small savings in a system they’ve previously claimed was badly run with big inefficiencies.

      Or that the private system is bad, when those of us using the public system are hugely better off because 1.5m people pay for our public system, but don’t use it. Because of it, we not only get subsidised -we get shorter waiting lists.

      It would cost us all a huge amount more to every one of us to bring those 1.5m people back in to the public system, just to have the same level of care we do now.

      • Elizabeth

        Exactly, photonz – education and entertainment. Few reading this thread won’t have learnt something or had their gaze widened. You are good at précis while in overview. You have humanity too, I know, it’s just that emotions and belief systems run high and that’s an essential part of dealing to the use of facts and statistics on rocky subjects like healthcare.

  20. photonz

    Often things are not as they seem (or as they are reported), and a strong right or left ideology will often distort things further.

    For example, when a large NZ company announces say a $100m profit, many on the left fail to see –
    – $33m going straight to the people of NZ via tax
    – the biggest shareholders getting the highest dividends are likely to be the government’s NZ Super fund, and ACC.
    – the next biggest will be retirement funds like Kiwisaver, of which 2m New Zealanders are part of (most big shareholders are actually just groups of thousands of ordinary people saving for their retirement).
    – profit, and almost nothing else, is what grows employment.

    Similarly those on the right who believe the market should rule fail to see the huge inefficiencies and wastage (both monetary and human) created by boom-bust cycles that can be significantly tempered by intelligent govt intervention. For example, Labour’s Kiwibuild has the potential to do more for our housing issues than every other policy currently put forward by the right.

    But the right don’t like it – not because it won’t work – but simply because it’s a left wing policy.

    Some things work better with policies that are more to the left, and others with policies that are more to the right, and often a hybrid works best.

    The result is the important thing.

  21. Gurglars

    Very succinct Photo, but you have not entered into the discussion about the value of various employees and the cost benefits of the same. How is it that wageslaves paying PAYE before they get the use of the money have little or no rise in wages over ten years whilst public service wallahs continue to receive indecent salary rises larger than the rate of inflation and far larger than those on the poverty line.

    From my experience there is NO person worth $500,000 per annum salary UNLESS they own manage, and manage the risk of their own enterprise including the chance of failure. It is clear that no matter what mistakes public servants make except for theft that they do not lose their brief.

    Even the Prime Minister, does not warrant such a figure and he/she can lose their job each three or four years on a whim of the public.

    So until we start to advertise such positions as manager of the SDHB and the DCC at about $150k, we will not know just who is available to manage such positions at a reasonable sum.

    And as to consultants, they are now proving their worth at the SDHB.

    A group of meerkats could have come up with their recommendations.

    • photonz

      According to the reserve bank inflation calculator,
      – general inflation has gone up 22% in the last decade.
      – wages have gone up 37% in the last decade

      I agree about the half million salaries, but I don’t let it take on more significance that it should because there’s so few people on that amount.

      And if they were suddenly on $150k, it would only make a little difference in a $830m budget (but I’d happily see them drop to that, or bring back a high tax above 150k)

      Oh, and the wageslaves at the bottom on minimum wage, have had a rise of around 100% in the last fifteen years, which blows away inflation by a quite a lot.

      • Calvin Oaten

        photonz, there are two words that would largely solve our health costs and pretty much everything else. Two dirty words, almost profane in some quarters. “Progressive Taxation”. Let’s take an extreme comparative: One worker, A, grubbing away on $15 per hour of fulltime work. Gross income $31,200pa Tax 20% leaves net $25,000. Now this person with family (assumed) has to spend 100% of that income to try to cope. That then means he is subject to GST of $3,750 or a total tax on gross income of $10,000 or 32%. That leaves $21,200 for essentials per year.
        Then look at the other end, B, the $560,000pa salary excluding free housing, motor car etc, from the public purse, of the university VC. If taxed at 80%!! shock horror. $560,000 x80% = $448,000 leaving net $112,000pa. Now this person’s essentials were say $40,000 attracting $6,000 in GST. Total tax $454,000.
        This leaves A penniless at the end of the year. B, has a surplus of $72,000.
        And that could well be earning income by way of interest on deposit or invested in income property which will in the normal course of events increase in value but no capita gains tax applied.
        Now that is even after an 80% tax rate. Currently nothing like that. If it was, then the government coffers would benefit immensely, probably making the monies others spend on health insurance (because they can) being spent on an increased tax rate levied to them by that dreaded “Progressive Taxation”. Then we might have a genuine egalitarian society with less or no poverty, adequate health for all, fewer inmates in the multi-$million jails, less domestic violence, equal opportunities of education, free by the state and a totally different atmosphere without the them and us angst. That would be the other dirty word “Socialism”. Worth a thought photonz, or too radical?

        • photonz

          Calvin – your numbers are miles out right from the start.

          The tax rate up to $14,000 is 10% – NOT 20%

          After that, its 17.5% up to 48,000 – not 20%

          Because of very low tax rates below $48,000, just 23% of all income tax comes from the 69% of Kiwis on incomes under 50,000.

          Compared to 22% of all income tax which comes from the 2% of people who earn over $150,000.

          So we have 2% paying about the same as 69%

          I don’t disagree that we could have a higher tax rate very high salaries.

          However there are so few people earning very high salaries, that your idea that it would solve all our problems is little more than empty hope.

          Even if you taxed those on over $150,000 at 100%, it wouldn’t make a significant difference to the overall government tax take (around 71% of govt revenue does NOT come from income tax).

          If you want some links to what people in different tax brackets pay, let me know.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Percentages are useful for understanding some things.
        “Oh, and the wageslaves at the bottom on minimum wage, have had a rise of around 100% in the last fifteen years, which blows away inflation by a quite a lot.” This is an example of, not.
        Cost of the makings of a week’s dinners and a week’s school lunches – for those old-fashioned people who don’t eat ready-made – go up by a percentage. This is calculated by working out how many dollars extra compared with previous cost.
        Say cost has gone up $15, and cost of electricity, school fees/”donations”, clothing and household linens, rent/rates, transport, all the other basic necessities have also gone up and the total dollar sum is greater than the dollar sum by which the “wageslaves at the bottom on minimum wage” has increased they are worse off than they were before.
        100% of minimum wage, and don’t forget that “full time” work is no longer defined as 40 hours per week, is still bugger-all.
        100% increase in, say, Carole Heatley’s salary is something else entirely. Blimey, a 10% increase is a fortune in number of dollars.
        This percentage presentation of the income picture paints a Dali-esque distortion of people’s ability to provide for themselves and their family.
        To put it in stick-figure type of sketch:
        Wageslave’s increase covers 4.5 days of the week, per week’s pay packet. High-earner’s is plenty for 2 months – per week’s extra income.

        • photonz

          Hype – you make no sense. You are trying to say inflation has been greater than the rise in minimum wage – it hasn’t.

          43% – inflation since 2000.
          95% – minimum wage increase since 2000 ($7.55 to $14.75)

          Links available if you want.

        • Calvin Oaten

          Hype, what on earth is wrong with you? Can’t you see that the stats say 43% inflation since 2000. Never mind that stats don’t factor in house rises plus rentals which go hand in hand.
          Wages up by 95% since 2000. From $7.50 to $14.75 per hour.
          No mention of how many hours.
          photonz is a slave to the neo liberal dogma and believes that black is black and black is white as well if the stats and government utterances say so.
          He obviously leads a very sheltered existence.

        • photonz

          Calvin – You might try to mislead everyone with your false statement, but housing and rental costs ARE included in the CPI.

  22. Calvin Oaten

    Exactly, Gurglars. Like moths to a flame, bureaucrats, consultants, do gooders and improvers come to dip their beaks into the bottomless well of public treasure. Without blushing we see the evil sods like triple dippers on local councils, chairs of committees on DHB boards then hopping onto the commission which displaces it, all without so much as a hint of guilt or contrition. The absolute last thing on their minds is the welfare of the ‘plebs’.

  23. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Feb 2016
    Editorial: SDHB: an all-time low
    OPINION The Southern District Health Board’s forecast deficit of $35.9million for 2015-16 must mark an all-time low for the embattled organisation. Although less than the $39.7million forecast figure the board inadvertently released at the end of last year, if it comes to pass this financial year, it will be the worst deficit the board has posted. […] For anyone already worried about the state of the South’s health services, and the future of Dunedin Hospital’s clinical services building, the outlook painted by the new figure could not be more bleak.
    Read more

  24. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 25 Feb 2016
    SDHB report coming
    The Office of the Ombudsman has told the Southern District Health Board to release a report on its financial situation the board has been withholding under the Official Information Act since the middle of last year. The board said it would release the report tomorrow.

  25. Elizabeth


    ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Mar 2016
    ‘Culture’ at heart of SDHB strategy
    By Kathy Grant (Commissioner) and the Commissiomer Team
    OPINION The ODT claimed in a recent editorial (20.2.16) that: “There will be many in the South who feel the SDHB’s appointment of a UK firm, April Strategy, to run patient feedback sessions next month and help the board find its ‘vision, values, and behaviour’, is too much to stomach. Most members of the public and health users would think they have made their views plain enough in recent years, without needing to hire overseas consultants to facilitate more information-gathering.”
    In itself, this assertion is questionable enough […] But behind this comment is a deeper misconception, and we would like to offer ODT readers a broader explanation of why this is important for the health services for our region. When we were appointed to govern the Southern DHB, our perspective went far beyond fixing a budget deficit.
    Read more

  26. Elizabeth

    20160223 Hubbard Tuesday toon.jpg []20160223 Hubbard Tuesday toon []

    20160221 Hubbard Monday toon []20160221 Hubbard Monday toon []

  27. Elizabeth

    SDHB ripoffs by all concerned at Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner level. Gravy train (while patients and elderly fed muck by Compass)…

    Tue, 22 Mar 2016
    ODT: Hospital group cost for 18 days: $21,400
    The group overseeing the delay-plagued Dunedin Hospital rebuild has run up more than $21,400 in fees and expenses for a combined total of 18 days’ work. Figures released by the Ministry of Health cover the Southern Partnership Group’s first few months’ oversight of the project. […] The group has five members, but one of them was not appointed until December.

    • Calvin Oaten

      “Speeding up the project carries risk” says Mr Blair. Sure it does, it could even mean their task being completed early. There’s the risk right there, The club members risk losing out on some very good graft. Why then the rush? If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing fully and to the maximum return. Mr Coleman could be seen as being totally unreasonable.

  28. Elizabeth

    Wed, 6 Apr 2016
    ODT: ‘Awesome’ support for protesters
    A decision to shift mental health programmes to Wakari Hospital prompted activists to chain themselves to a fence at Dunedin Hospital for several hours yesterday. In June, mental health community day programmes will move from Dunedin Hospital to Helensburgh House at Wakari Hospital. Service users were not consulted. Activist Scout Barbour-Evans, speaking for users, said shifting the programmes would make them less accessible.


    ### Wed, 6 Apr 2016
    SDHB shifting service to Wakari
    Some Southern District Health Board patients are angry about services moving from the central city to Wakari. The board’s shifting its mental health community day programmes from Dunedin Hospital in June. They’ll be undertaken at a renovated floor of Helensburgh House at Wakari Hospital. It follows a move in recent years of another mental health team from Princes Street to Wakari. The board’s running free shuttles from Dunedin Hospital up the hill, but some patients say they’ll still struggle to access services. Several protesters chained themselves to a fence at Dunedin Hospital yesterday. They’re also bothered by the stigma attached to Wakari Hospital.
    Ch39 Video

  29. Elizabeth

    ‘Geographically, Southern DHB was equal to about three-quarters of the size of mainland Ireland.’

    Dr Nigel MillarThu, 14 Apr 2016
    ODT: Here for long haul: new chief medical officer
    The appointment of [Dr Nigel Millar] a prominent Canterbury health leader as chief medical officer at Southern District Health Board surprised a few people in the health sector. […] Dr Millar is a geriatrician, a specialist who works with older people, and he plans to carry out clinical work alongside his leadership role. Working with older patients involves contact with almost every department in the hospital. […] Originally from Newcastle, England, Dr Millar worked at Canterbury for 24 years, the last 13 years as chief medical officer. Considered a successful health board, Canterbury has produced a handful of prominent clinicians and managers who have gone on to national leadership roles, including Chai Chuah, now the director-general of health in Wellington.

  30. Elizabeth


    It [SDHB] did not consider any other company for the job, chief executive Carole Heatly confirmed in the OIA response.

    Sat, 16 Apr 2016
    ODT: English consultant’s SDHB bill $152k
    An English consulting firm will receive more than $150,000 in fees and expenses for work that includes running “listening sessions” for the Southern District Health Board and writing up the results, an Official Information Act response shows. The board is paying the money to London firm April Strategy.

    ● Writing up recommendations based on session feedback would cost more than $68,000.

    Cost of April Strategy consultants (via ODT)

    April Strategy (Tim Keogh) work:

    Staff engagement survey: $14,175
    Patient experience survey (421 responses): $12,390
    Support for innovation: $7980
    Southern Future launch communications: $7560
    Listening sessions design: $10,080
    Listening sessions facilitation: $16,800 ($14.56 per person)
    Analysis of Creating Our Future week insights: $30,765
    Workshop with Southern DHB executive team and clinical council: free
    Estimated cost of further analysis: $37,485
    Airfares: $13,281
    Accommodation and food: $2268
    April Strategy total: $152,784

    Additional costs

    Session costs (including venue hire, advertising): $79,941
    Accommodation (Southern DHB): $775
    Meals (Southern DHB) estimated: $175 to $200
    Staff innovation encouragement booklet: $8388
    Additional costs total: $89,304

    GRAND TOTAL: $242,088

  31. Hype O'Thermia from Dr John Chambers, ASMS (Association of Salaried Medical Specialists) representative, Otago Branch.

    Dr John Chambers has the guts to stand up for the values we expect, and against the gruesome twosome Penny Pinching and X.Travagance who are busily undermining conditions for patients and clinical staff alike.

    • Elizabeth

      John Chambers is one of the best advocates, for ASMS as well as the hospital-using public. A quality SDHB board member lost to the FatCat expense-swallowing Commissioner process.

  32. Anonymous

    This spending really is quite repugnant. There are local organisations that could have “held meetings and listened” for a tenth of the price. Even that might have copped a little public flak given recent behaviour of the SDHB but nothing like this criminal waste of money.

    It really was revolting to read this article and, not to undermine the serious of it, differed little in my opinion to the April Fools Day joke the Oddity recently printed. I was going to say “I can’t believe they proceeded with this…” but then the position and comments of the SDHB executive and Health Minister only confirm how disconnected they are from reality.

    Now we have a hospital that feeds its sick unpalatable meals yet spends hundreds of thousands on non-medical services? Our health system is very sick.

    What ever the contagion is, it must be moving between hosts as we now have two Dunedin organisations that appear to have lost the plot.

  33. Calvin Oaten

    The problem with Dr John Chambers is that he is an experienced medical man, the bane of the bureaucrats. Ms Heatly can’t abide the fact that just because it’s a hospital that means medical people should have any input into the management or direction of policy. Far better to draw on the brains and records of a failed previous board chair, a prominent lawyer, a local all purpose director and a consultant from the other side of the planet. Throw in a ‘spin doctor’ (non medical) and destroy the catering department (an essential one would have thought) and save 2.5cents per meal and cater for the pig farming industry with the rejects. Nothing another $billion or two couldn’t put right.

  34. Elizabeth

    Commissioner Kathy Grant announces hospital advisory committees and a combined disability/public health committee will be established.

    Thu, 28 Apr 2016
    ODT: Health board transparency move welcomed
    Critics of the “secretive” manner in which the Southern District Health Board has operated since a commissioner was installed have welcomed a decision to re-establish committees and open them to the public. The move was prompted by the Government’s decision to extend the commissioner term by three years. Concerns were raised by submitters to the New Zealand Public Health and Disability (Southern DHB) Elections Bill over a lack of transparency.

    • natalie

      Just what we need, more faux engagement to keep the plebs happy while the real work is done behind closed doors.

    • Gurglars

      Extremely disappointed that the distinguished german journaliste Baron Rudolfo V von Gurgelaars DHB, VC and bar, Croix de G.U.R was not invited to be a part of this advisory board. He has been internationally awarded for services to public health particularly taking a couple for the team, risking life, limbs and head for the beleagured Otago and Southland sickees and is our most decorated malignerer.

  35. Hype O'Thermia

    Coleman squirms on The Nation TV programme bring questioned over public health. This is an excerpt:

    “Interviewer: All right, I want to look at the DHBs. They’re having to make 178 million in savings in the 2015-2016 year through efficiencies, so how much have they managed to save so far?
    Jonathan Coleman: Well, that is a tiny drop of their overall budget. It’s a 1 percent efficiency dividend, and they should be able to find that, quite frankly. They’ve got ongoing programmes to do that.
    Interviewer: So how much have they managed to save so far?
    Jonathan Coleman: In this financial year, I haven’t got the figures in front of me, but, look, they are under a lot of pressure to keep to the financial track. And what we’ve done, we’ve decreased deficits from 160 to 60 million over our times.
    Interviewer: So, Minister, sorry, you—
    Jonathan Coleman: They greatly reduced them.
    Interviewer: So, Minister, you can’t tell me how much they’ve saved so far?
    Jonathan Coleman: Well, no, I haven’t got the analysis of how much they’ve saved so far in front of me.
    Interviewer: Okay, well—
    Jonathan Coleman: But we’ve set a very clear expectation that there’ll be a 1 percent efficiency dividend.
    Interviewer: As at February of this year, they’d saved 80 million, so, well—
    Jonathan Coleman: Well, I’m not taking that figure for granted. Where have you got that figure from?
    Interviewer: That was from official information released to the Labour Party.
    Jonathan Coleman: Oh, it’s a Labour Party figure. Well, look, I’d have to look—
    Interviewer: No, it’s official information, Minister, released to the Labour Party.”

    Read more:

  36. Elizabeth

    Sat, 7 May 2016
    ODT Editorial: ‘Value’ for money?
    OPINION It’s tough at the top.
    Is there any sympathy out there for chief executive Carole Heatly, Commissioner Kathy Grant and her deputies tasked with turning around the indebted Southern District Health Board? Judging by the almost instantaneous and unanimous flow of written responses to this newspaper about the board’s newly announced set of “draft values”, apparently not.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Is there any sympathy out there for chief executive Carole Heatly?” Sure there is, there’s a give-a-little campaign so she can be sent on a trip to Disneyland. Seems to have stalled, may pick up next benefit payment day. So far there’s $enough for a one-way ticket……..

  37. Elizabeth

    Tue, 17 May 2016
    Claim feedback manipulated
    Participants at the Southern District Health Board “listening sessions” were “coerced” into giving positive feedback and they were told to balance negative observations with positive ones, Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust chairwoman Corinda Taylor says. Mrs Taylor has taken issue with provisional results presented by sessions facilitator Tim Keogh, a London consultant who was flown to Dunedin recently to present them.

    Tue, 3 May 2016
    ODT: Listening one of new SDHB values
    The Southern District Health Board’s new set of “draft values” espouses listening, kindness, having a positive attitude and working with the community. The single-page “draft values” are being presented to patients and staff this week by London consultant Tim Keogh. They also spell out unwanted behaviour, such as “excessive grumpiness” or talking over others.

    [The following is MOST embarrassing if it took the expensive git from the UK to point out basics in the supposedly (already) professional work environment with its multi-strand public interface.]

    ● Our kindness fosters better care and better teamwork.
    ● We listen, hear and communicate openly and honestly with consideration for others.
    ● We bring a positive attitude and are always looking to do things better.
    ● Our success comes from nurturing and building on our strengths in our community.

    Unwanted behaviour includes:
    ● Talking over others.
    ● Making people feel like an inconvenience.
    ● Rejecting feedback.
    ● Ignoring or excluding people.
    ● Excessive grumpiness.
    ● Showing no compassion.

    Related Post and Comments:
    ● 1.5.16 Hospital food according to Gurglars
    ● 3.11.15 SDHB will ‘takeaway’ more than freshly cooked meals and a head chef
    30.10.15 Dunedin Hospital #despair
    17.6.15 Southern District Health Board sacked !!!
    9.6.15 Southern District Health Board
    16.4.15 Talk of replacing Southern District Health Board with commissioner
    ● 1.5.14 Dunedin Hospital buildings SORRY STATE

  38. Elizabeth

    ### Fri, 10 Jun 2016
    Health Board prepares for upgrades
    The Southern District Health Board is preparing for two large department upgrades. The current Gastroenterology Unit is to be completely demolished and rebuilt from the inside out, beginning early next month. In its place will be a purpose-built facility, including increased clinical spaces and an enhanced recovery area. It comes hot on the heels of work beginning on a new Audiology Unit at Wakari Hospital, which is due to open in November. The current unit is located within Dunedin Hospital but DHB staff say the new location at Wakari will provide easier access to the unit, with parking nearby.
    Ch39 Video


    Dunedin Hospital

    A staff member emailed the Otago Daily Times photographs of the new floor mats, saying the initiative treated nurses like “kindergarten kids”.

    Fri, 10 Jun 2016
    ODT: Tidying makes hospital a safer place
    Tidying up wards and re-organising storerooms at Dunedin Hospital makes patients safer and frees up staff, project leaders say.
    A new programme includes colour-coding medical supplies, installing mats to show correct places for equipment, minimising interruptions to medication rounds, and shifting patient handover to the bedside. Not everyone is happy with the programme.

    “Patient handover is being shifted to the bedside, rather than in a ward office. It meant patients could be involved in the handover process, and it saved time.”

    How Unprofessional the handovers have been while held in ward offices. It was incredibly unhelpful and in many cases inhumane to have no staff about when delicate patients needed toileting and other personal assistance; and forget family members left to wait in the corridor within visual sightline of the gormless damned nurses who refused to nominate one of themselves as a go-between during their meetings. I’ve never witnessed (and this for years and years at Dunedin Hospital….) such lacklustre nursing service in my life. The patients were left in all sorts of uncared for and in-need states, repeatedly each day. UNFORGIVEABLE.

    Fri, 10 Jun 2016
    ODT: Rudeness features in SDHB surveys
    More than half of staff who responded to a survey at Southern District Health Board report that colleagues are “often” rude to each other. Results from patient and staff surveys conducted this year as part of the project that included “listening sessions” have been released by the board under the Official Information Act. About 2500 of about 4500 staff responded to the survey or took part in a listening session.

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