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Hawke’s Bay Hospital won’t be downgraded

4 July 2008

Hawke’s Bay Hospital won’t be downgraded

Regional collaboration between District Health Boards will strengthen and enhance the local delivery of health to the people of the region, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s chief executive Chris Clarke said.

Contrary to media reports the aim of the Regional Clinical Services Plan is to improve services locally and direct scarce resources to patient care rather than duplicating management and systems across DHBs, he explained.

“The days of 21 DHB’ all competing for the same staff and designing their own stand alone systems and processes are over. It’s not good patient care and it’s wasteful of resources,” Mr Clarke said.

The project is a work in progress that began last October and was publically discussed at that time, he said.

The board at that time was quoted as saying that under the plan they hoped that “Hawke’s Bay would become a centre for some service.”

Mr Clarke said in the changes proposed to the draft Hawke’s Bay and Mid Central Health would become a backbone of a regional network that would support Wairarapa and Wanganui.

Hutt Valley, Mid Central and Hawke’s Bay were likely to share leadership of services run on a regional basis, and the focus would be on teams of specialists working together across the region and in community settings, he said.

The changes to the plan are being made following a May meeting of Chairs and CEOs and were expected to be available for the DHB’s August meeting.

“We support great regional clinical networks as it will help secure better local delivery of health services rather than standing alone and hoping we can somehow make it on our own,” he said.

Acting Chief Medical Advisor David Grayson said he commended the regional DHB’s working together to deliver a comprehensive plan to deliver services for the lower North Island.

“Any suggestion that this is a plan to axe hospital services in Hawke’s Bay is ill founded and misinformed,” he said.

Clinicians have used informal networks for many years and the plan is looking at ways to enhance those networks, Mr Grayson said.

“Using a collaborative approach is our best chance for maintaining local services. It’s a bit like everyone having to muck in to save energy when the hydro lakes are low.”


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