The Waitaki District Health Services today announced decisions that will provide clinical solutions, greater coordination of services and enhanced financial sustainability for the future of Oamaru Hospital.
“This is the result of a lengthy and consultative process that has involved a wide range of staff and community stakeholders working tirelessly to help find solutions to sustain and improve our current level of service provision at Oamaru Hospital” Chris Swann, Chairman of the WDHSL said.
The consultation period resulted in the receipt of 15 individual written submissions and 9 submissions from groups which represent approximately 185 individuals. “This feedback has been carefully listened to and components of the original proposal have been amended accordingly” said Mr Swann.
He said it is a priority that Waitaki District Health Services continue to deliver on the strategic goals of the organisation in the most cost-effective manner whilst ensuring that there are suitable structures, staff, equipment and facilities in place.
“Significantly no permanent staff member should lose employment with our company as a result of these decisions” Mrs Ruth Kibble, CEO WDHSL said. “Our staff are passionate people who are currently working in an environment where there is a lack of clarity about systems, information and processes”.
The outcome presented to staff today will be a significant step towards achieving our overarching goals. Some roles will change but the changes will optimise the balance between operational and clinical leadership resources. These changes will place us in the strongest position to continue to deliver health services for the people of Waitaki now, and into the future” Mrs Kibble said.
“We are pleased to achieve an outcome that means that individuals have certainty of employment.
"Staff are our most important asset and in order to keep our patients safe we must have staff that have the right skill mix, at the appropriate staffing levels working within a workplace that lives up to our organisational values. By having the right resources in the right place, we expect quicker, simpler decision making and a sense of greater clinical ownership. A commitment to excellence underpins everything we do. Whether this be related to clinical or non-clinical services, this needs to be at the forefront of our thinking” said Mrs Kibble.
“Staff will now also have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and education in the health sector. Professional development and support to transition to new roles will be top priority for management and staff leaders. Staff will have the ability to get their skills and knowledge recognised through the National Qualifications framework through the completion of workplace-based training” said Mrs Kibble.
“It was extremely important that staff and management worked together in the decision making process. This provides a platform to work with staff and build on the strong foundation that we have established” said Mrs Kibble.
“The outcome reflects many hours of hard work, difficult conversations, controversy, and determination. We wish to acknowledge each and every one of our staff, leadership team, board, stakeholders and community for their contribution throughout this challenging time” said Mrs Kibble. “A collaborative working approach going forward will help us to work together to build from this platform of change to transform our organisation into a resilient and sustainable one” Mrs Kibble said.
“We will begin to deliver and live up to our organisational values and vision of a ‘progressive, positive and caring organisation delivering a responsive, accessible and modern health service.’ Our ability to deliver on safe staffing, ensure local services are secure and our infrastructure supports us is the priority for this organisation”.
Gary Kircher, Mayor for the Waitaki District, acknowledged the decisions and the importance of effective health care provision in the region.
“Our community has demonstrated its strong desire to ensure that high quality services are maintained within our community, that these services are managed well, the staff are supported in a good working environment and are well recognised for their contribution” Mr. Kircher said.
“The Council, as shareholder on behalf of the community, was keen to see good community consultation during this process. We wanted to ensure that people understood the aims of the review, which were to find solutions to improve both clinical and financial sustainability into the future and I believe the new structure will achieve that. It is important that we continue to ensure the sustainability of our health services for the people of Waitaki” said Mr. Kircher.
Staff were notified of the decisions earlier today and the changes agreed to will be introduced over the forthcoming weeks.