Tag Archives: Mental health

SDHB #FAILS with Healthcare Communication and Governance

randy-glasbergen-2000-glasbergen-com-via-funnyandhumorous-com[glasbergen.com]

“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

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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

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the-most-common-hospital-surgical-procedure-today-inkcinct-com-au[inkcinct.com]

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/

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“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.

nicefood-wolfescape-com[wolfescape.com]

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Dementia research : Clearing sticky plaques from the brain

Amyloid-Plaques-and-Neurons-in-the-Brain-by-Juan-Gartner [psypost.org]Amyloid Plaques and Neurons in the Brain. Image: Juan-Gartner [psypost.org] – also reproduced by ScientificAmerica.com Story Link

A L Z H E I M E R S ● D I S E A S E

Since it was first identified more than a century ago, we still have no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Among the various avenues that researchers have been working on to try and understand the causes and potential treatments for the disease, the role of blood vessels has been increasingly a focus – and in particular the “blood-brain barrier”, a protective layer of cells that regulates what can enter the brain through the blood. The blood-brain barrier is usually very tight in young, healthy people. This means that the brain controls what substances get in, which is important for proper brain function. However, this high level of control can be a problem for treating brain diseases because drugs in the bloodstream can be kept out of the brain. A lot of research is being done to try get around this problem […] As well as acting as a gatekeeper for entry of substances into the brain, the blood-brain barrier is important for removing waste products from the brain. One of these products, β-amyloid, is a key player in Alzheimer’s disease.

β-amyloid is made in the brains of everyone. In the healthy brain, it is quickly removed from the brain by moving across the blood-brain barrier into the blood. In the old brain, this movement is slower and allows β-amyloid to build up. And as it builds up, β-amyloid causes damage to both the brain and the blood-brain barrier, which in turn creates further damage by decreasing the removal of β-amyloid from the brain and allowing entry of toxins from the blood.

This on-going cycle of damage is thought to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: PsyPost : Slowdown of brain’s waste removal system could drive Alzheimer’s (17.3.15)

PsyPost is a psychology and neuroscience news website dedicated to reporting the latest research on human behaviour, cognition, and society. The publication covers the latest discoveries in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, sociology and similar fields, featuring news releases from universities and other organisations, along with original reporting on undernoticed studies.

β-amyloid oligomers (red) and receptor LilrB2 or PirB (green) in neuronal synapses of Alzheimer’s brains. [medicalxpress.com]Artist rendering: β-amyloid oligomers (red) and receptor LilrB2 or PirB (green) in neuronal synapses of Alzheimer’s brains. [medicalxpress.com]

Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown how a protein fragment known as beta-amyloid, strongly implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, begins destroying synapses before it clumps into plaques that lead to nerve cell death.

Source: MedicalExpress.com : Scientists reveal how beta-amyloid may cause Alzheimer’s (19.9.13)

### msn.com Fri, 2 Sep 2016 8 hrs ago
Alzheimer’s: New drug that halts mental decline is ‘best news for dementia in 25 years’
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor – The Telegraph (UK)
The first drug that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease is finally on the horizon after scientists proved they can clear the sticky plaques from the brain which cause dementia and halt mental decline. Hailed as the “best news” in dementia research for 25 years, the breakthrough is said to be a potential “game changer” for people with Alzheimer’s.

The red marks show amyloid plaques but after a year they are gone in the highest dose group. [via telegraph.co.uk]The red marks show amyloid plaques but after a year they are gone in the highest dose group. [telegraph.co.uk]

Scientists said they were amazed to find that patients treated with the highest dose of the antibody drug aducanumab experienced an almost complete clearance of the amyloid plaques that prevent brain cells communicating, leading to irreversible memory loss and cognitive decline.

Crucially they also found that after six months of the treatment, patients stopped deteriorating compared with those taking a placebo, suggesting that their dementia had been halted. If shown to be effective in larger trials, the first drug to prevent dementia could be available in just a few years.

“The results of this clinical study make us optimistic that we can potentially make a great step forward in treating Alzheimer’s disease,” said Prof Roger Nitsch, at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Zurich. In the high dose group the amyloid has almost completely disappeared. The effect size of this drug is unprecedented. Despite it being a small sample there appeared to be a slowing of cognitive decline and functional decline. The group with a high degree of amyloid removal were basically stable. If we could reproduce this it would be terrific.”
Read more

Source: (via paywall) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/09/01/alzheimers-new-drug-that-halts-mental-decline-is-best-news-for-d/

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

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SDHB Commissioners speed-bleed health system

hospital sick [mrsfaella.weebly.com] 2

“Mr Thomson said the board had had a “decimated finance team” because of a failed Government scheme to centralise finance teams in Auckland.” (ODT)

answer, BRING IN THE CONSULTANTS

### ODT Online Wed, 22 Jun 2016
Commissioner team faces public
By Eileen Goodwin
The commissioner team running Southern District Health Board has been publicly challenged about decisions it is taking at the embattled board. A meeting at Wakari Hospital yesterday was the public’s first opportunity to speak directly to commissioner Kathy Grant in a public forum. […] Dunedin resident Natalie Wilson said she was concerned by an “excessive” reliance on outside consultants. The “cloak” of commercial sensitivity was used to hide information. Ms Wilson criticised the emphasis on staff “culture change”, saying there was no research evidence that it worked. The board seemed to be playing “buzz-word bingo”, and its most recent attempt at culture change came after similar failed initiatives of the sacked board, she said.
Read more

● Richard Thomson is a health board deputy commissioner; and chairman of the DCC Finance Committee.

### ODT Online Thu, 16 Jun 2016
SDHB’s consulting bill queried
By Eileen Goodwin
A health union is questioning a bill of more than $978,000 the Southern District Health Board has run up with an Auckland consulting firm. The Public Service Association will raise the issue at a monthly meeting between unions and the health board next week. […] In a formal response to an Official Information Act request, acting chief executive Lexie O’Shea said the consultants had been working on “service alignment” in recent months. Asked what that meant, she provided another written statement: “This has involved a systematic analysis of areas across the DHB to gain robust and more detailed understanding of our expenditure and performance.”
Read more

### ODT Online Wed, 15 Jun 2016
$7000pw fees and expenses
By Eileen Goodwin
The commissioner regime is costing the Southern District Health Board more than $7000 in fees and expenses every week, an Official Information Act request shows. Between November 17 and May 17, the commissioner team incurred $159,600 daily fees and $25,405 for travel, accommodation and food. As commissioner, Kathy Grant receives the biggest daily fee, $1400, and over six months she charged for 55.5 days, a total of $77,700. Mrs Grant’s annual pay is capped at $180,000. Mrs Grant also incurred $8615 for expenses. Her biggest single expense was flights ($4487).
Read more

Related Post and Comments:
1.5.16 Hospital food according to Gurglars
8.4.16 Worsted
23.12.15 SDHB underfunded, no bandage
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
16.4.16 Talk of replacing Southern District Health Board with commissioner
5.12.13 Swann case: ODHB/SDHB and friends

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

No SDHB election in 2016.

*Image: mrsfaella.weebly.com – hospital sick, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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SDHB underfunded, no bandage

hospital2 [clipartlord.com]

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

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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

Related Posts and Comments:
3.11.15 SDHB will ‘takeaway’ more than freshly cooked meals and a head chef
30.11.15 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
25.2.15 South Link Health, hmm that name….
6.8.14 Otago Therapeutic Pool at Dunedin Hospital
14.1.14 DCC: Hospital area parking changes #cyclelanes
5.12.13 Swann case: ODHB/SDHB and friends
10.11.10 Neurosurgery STAYS @Dunedin
6.8.10 SERIOUSLY

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: clipartlord.com – hospital2

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