Northland PHO staff angry at lack of merger consultation, says union boss

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Northland PHO staff angry at lack of merger consultation, says union boss

Northland view
The Northland region will have a single primary health entity from 1 July, replacing two existing PHOs
"To have this restructuring done in such a manner has left them very angry" Staff at two Northland PHOs facing a merger in the next few weeks are

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We are all nervous...

Comment from Mahitahi Hauora chief executive Phillip Balmer:

I am disappointed that Deborah characterises the consultation process as non-existent as she is aware that the consultation process began in March to existing PHO staff, GPs, and Māori health providers, and the DHB. We have had a more extensive consultation process because of the significance and size of the change programme. 

We began the consultation process in March and have had more than four combined full staff meetings with each PHO team as well as providing information on the why, what and how of the transformation programme. We also needed to understand the why from their perspectives and to understand more fully the current challenges and difficulties they are facing so that we can ensure our plan is developed to address their concerns. 

We know we can only be successful if we grow our collective wisdom and commitment to changing the way primary care is supported and patient care improved in the future. 

We have had excellent feedback in both the “why” and the “what” forums and also in writing with approximately 150 pages of high calibre and valuable feedback in total. 

In this process we presented for feedback, a conceptual structure to deliver more support to primary care and to lead the significant transformation agenda proposed. We have reviewed the feedback and made changes to the structure as a result. 

Next week we will present an organisational structure which will have all the job profiles and related salary ranges included as is in keeping with a consultation process. We are excited about the future but also recognise that change is a difficult time for staff. 

We have also been open to and responsive to feedback from the union and made changes accordingly in the spirit of partnership. 

I will call Deborah to discuss her concerns.