SDHB #FAILS with Healthcare Communication and Governance


“I read it in the paper — all the information I’m getting is from the ODT. Management doesn’t talk to us, really.” –Prof Jean-Claude Theis

### ODT Online Mon, 7 Nov 2016
Patients turned away
By Eileen Goodwin
Nearly a third of orthopaedic patients referred for a first specialist assessment are being turned away from Dunedin Hospital, and the situation is becoming “untenable”, orthopaedic surgeon Prof Jean-Claude Theis says. The Dunedin School of Medicine professor of orthopaedic surgery  said the relationship with Southern DHB management had become “very bad”. Orthopaedic surgeons were not consulted about a recent decision to outsource 129 surgeries. Prof Theis had not known about the outsourcing until an Otago Daily Times story a little over a week ago. […] “With management, we’re not getting anywhere. There’s no engagement. There’s no clinical governance any more, across the hospital.”
Read more


Locum ophthalmologist Dr Peter Haddad last week blasted the SDHB for keeping quiet, calling the decision “grossly unethical”.

### ODT Online Mon, 7 Nov 2016
ODT: SDHB wanted ‘free and frank’ debate
By Eileen Goodwin
The need for “free and frank” debate among Southern District Health Board bosses meant they kept quiet about the growing ophthalmology waiting list and cases of patient harm. The issue was not discussed in hospital directorate reports presented at public committee meetings since May, when those meetings resumed. […] The board notified patients less than two weeks before the release of the annual national adverse events report, later this week, in which patient-harm cases have to be disclosed. It will show 30 cases of harm from ophthalmology delays in 2015-16. There is likely to be more recent cases not included in the report …. [Interim chief executive Chris Fleming] admitted patients should have been told sooner. In an interview last week, Mr Fleming argued the situation was in part “good news”.
Read more



Sun, 6 Nov 2016
ODT: Petition started about hospital rebuild
Frustration with what she sees as lack of progress on the rebuilding of Dunedin Hospital’s clinical services block has prompted a Dunedin woman to circulate a petition she wants people to send direct to the Prime Minister or National MPs. Those who sign will “pledge not to support the National Party in the next general election unless we have an officially approved blueprint from the Government, acceptable to staff at the hospital and the medical school, to rebuild the clinical services block at the Dunedin Hospital by November 2017”. Cont/

Sat, 5 Nov 2016
ODT: Mental health petition delivered to Parliament
Dunedin mental health campaigners delivered a petition to Parliament this week calling for a nationwide inquiry. The Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust collected 1740 signatures. Chairwoman Corinda Taylor, with Denise Kent, presented the petition to Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox on the steps of Parliament on Wednesday. “The petition respectfully requests the House of Representatives to conduct a nationwide inquiry into mental health services to determine if current services meet the demand and if future planning is adequate to meet future demand.” Cont/

Fri, 4 Nov 2016
ODT: SDHB conduct ‘unethical’
Not telling patients sooner that they risked permanent sight loss from delayed hospital appointments was “grossly unethical”, says an eye doctor who last year warned the board about the problem. In response, the Southern District Health Board admitted yesterday it should have told patients earlier. More than 4600 patients have been notified they are overdue for their ophthalmology appointment. In the past two years, 34 patients have lost part of their sight permanently, and that number is likely to increase. Cont/

Thu, 3 Nov 2016
ODT Editorial: Eye off the ball?
OPINION The latest revelations around ophthalmology pressures at the Southern District Health Board are confronting, and the problems are only part of the iceberg nationally. Earlier this week, this newspaper reported patients were going partially blind while they waited for SDHB appointments. […] Fixing or managing problems can prevent issues compounding, and alleviate financial and physical pressures on the health system further down the line. […] Commissioner Kathy Grant has said she has confidence in SDHB medical oversight and governance, yet the problem is such that the board is prepared for more cases of harm to emerge and has notified more than 4600 patients they have been identified as being overdue for appointments. Cont/

Wed, 2 Nov 2016
ODT: Ministry of Health ‘ducking’
The Ministry of Health has been accused of “ducking responsibility” on the hospital eye appointment “disaster”. The ophthalmology pressures at the Southern District Health Board have caused some patients to go partially blind while waiting for an appointment. The senior doctors’ union and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists say problems highlighted in the SDHB are widespread throughout New Zealand. Cont/


“The problem has been exacerbated by the state of our information systems not being able to clearly identify this issue.” –Commissioner Kathy Grant

Wed, 2 Nov 2016
ODT: Grant stands behind Southern DHB
Commissioner Kathy Grant declined to be interviewed yesterday about the patient harm cluster in ophthalmology, but says she has confidence in Southern District Health Board medical oversight and governance. In a statement, Mrs Grant said she was told about Dunedin Hospital’s ophthalmology waiting list problem in the middle of this year. This week the board revealed 30 patients suffered partial sight loss in 2015-16 because of overdue appointments, on top of a group of four patients the year before. Six of the 30 have a “severe” degree of loss. […] The board has admitted it is not on top of the situation in Dunedin, and more cases of harm may emerge. More than 4600 affected patients have been notified. Cont/

2.11.16 ODT: Eye clinic treatment lists blow out

Sun, 30 Oct 2016
ODT: Extra orthopaedic operations sought
The Southern District Health Board is trying to find an external provider for an extra 129 orthopaedic surgery cases in a bid to meet a national health target. A request for proposal issued last week on a government website says SDHB would fund up to 129 extra orthopaedic procedures in 2016-17 in order to achieve a national health target. […] Orthopaedic surgery waiting times have been a source of tension between DHB management and orthopaedic surgeons. Surgeons have lobbied for more operations, and have suggested southern orthopaedic patients need to be more debilitated than in other parts of the country before qualifying for surgery. Cont/

Sat, 29 Oct 2016
ODT: Doctors’ strike caused hundreds of postponements
The Southern District Health Board has released new figures showing the impact of the junior doctors’ strike. Fifty-two patients had a procedure postponed and 725 outpatients had a hospital appointment postponed. Another 52 patients were not booked for an appointment or procedure once the strike notice was received, the board told the Otago Daily Times yesterday. Cont/

█ For more, enter the terms *sdhb*, *southern district health board*, *hospital*, *commissioner*, *food*, *pool*, *south link health*, *swann* or *white collar criminals* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.



Filed under Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Events, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Public interest, SDHB, Site, Travesty, University of Otago, Urban design, What stadium

10 responses to “SDHB #FAILS with Healthcare Communication and Governance

  1. Elizabeth

    The above post is simply a Diabolical List (29 Oct – 7 Nov 2016), then there’s all the other health matters not yet disclosed.

  2. Anonymous

    Kathy Grant seems confused and is blaming failings on technology. I doubt the computers have developed intelligence and subsequently a preference for human suffering. Only other people can cause that. The problem has been exacerbated by bureaucrats and the like too far removed from the hurt they compound.

  3. Gurglars

    The computers have come right!
    After 14 months of no contact from ophthalmology, I received a follow up appointment within two days of the whistleblower going public.

    These coincidences just keep going on. Poles are replaced immediately a whistleblower goes public and appointments are made after concerns are raised.

    Is this a coincidence?

    Perhaps all the Dunedin computers are linked and the power came right when Delta fixed the poles!

    I mean- Monty Python and the Goons, they play can’t be right.

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    “The Southern District Health Board has released new figures showing the impact of the junior doctors’ strike.”
    You bet they did, showing how awful those uncaring doctors are eh!
    “Fifty-two patients had a procedure postponed and 725 outpatients had a hospital appointment postponed….”
    Not however pointing out that the patients might have been safer NOT being treated/seen.
    If a truck driver isn’t alert enough to drive unlimited hours, are patients safe being diagnosed by, having procedures done by, being prescribed drugs by doctors who are seriously sleep-deprived? SDHB’s comment eagerly awaited.
    SDHB’s hiring enough staff even more eagerly awaited – no, stop it dear reader, you’ll do yourself a mischief laughing that hard. People have cracked a rib – and you don’t want to end up in hospital till the doctors have work conditions that allow them to function in their role as well as truck drivers in theirs.

  5. Elizabeth

    “To date it’s not possible to have confidence Southern patients are getting the care they need when they need it.” –Annette King

    Wed, 23 Nov 2016
    ODT: DHB surplus plan outlined
    A plan to make a sizeable reduction to Southern District Health Board’s deficit has sparked concern it could be to the detriment of patients. Labour health spokeswoman Annette King said the $22 million forecast deficit – $12 million less than the $34 million deficit posted in 2015-16 – was concerning because of recent strains at SDHB.
    ….At an SDHB meeting yesterday, Natalie Wilson, of Dunedin […] said the Office of the Auditor-general had recently expressed concern that New Zealand DHBs were too focused on short-term financial results.

  6. Elizabeth

    Sat, 3 Dec 2016
    ODT: Search for SDHB chief executive delayed
    The search for a new chief executive of the Southern District Health Board is taking longer than expected. […] “The shortlisting process has taken place in several stages with six candidates from both New Zealand and overseas evaluated in greater detail,” Mrs Grant said. Cont/

    █ Mrs Grant confirmed yesterday she would not appoint a third deputy commissioner to replace Dr Angela Pitchford, who quit in September. […] Mrs Grant said the team had developed “stronger channels” for seeking clinical advice and expertise. (ODT)

  7. Elizabeth

    Sat, 3 Dec 2016
    ODT: Inquiry into complaint over secrecy
    Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier has launched an investigation into a complaint about the secrecy of the contract that tied the Southern District Health Board to a 15-year food service contract with a multinational company. The Otago Daily Times complained to the Office of the Ombudsman about heavy redactions in the 300-page contract. The Compass Group contract is managed by NZ Health Partnerships, which cited commercial sensitivity when it withheld the information. Cont/

  8. Gurglars

    Wahoo, Boshier is proving to be the first ever proper job Ombudsman!

  9. Elizabeth

    Fri, 9 Dec 2016
    ODT: Heatly took pay cut in final year
    Former Southern District Health Board chief executive Carole Heatly appears to have taken a pay cut in her final year in the job. The drop was revealed in the board’s 2015-16 annual report, which was released yesterday. Ms Heatly’s pay, including benefits, was $480,000 to $490,000, a drop from $500,000 to $510,000 in the two previous financial years. Ms Heatly’s salary attracted public criticism in her last 18 months at the troubled board. Cont/

    [The Problem People on a Fat Wicket]
    The report released yesterday shows commissioner Kathy Grant received $165,000 remuneration in 2015-16, her first full year overseeing the board. Deputy commissioners Graham Crombie, Richard Thomson and Dr Angela Pitchford, who has since quit, received remuneration of $102,000, $58,000 and $32,000 respectively. There was also a $21,550 payment to finance, audit and risk committee chairwoman Susie Johnstone. (ODT)

    Kathy Grant, Graham Crombie, Richard Thomson and Susie Johnstone are also troughers via Dunedin City Council, or have been.

  10. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

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