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DHB Leadership Role Sought by Southern PHC Nurses

DHB Leadership Role Sought by Southern PHC Nurses

Concerns that Primary Health Care nurses lack representation on the Southern District Health Board have prompted a working party to begin drafting a series of proposals for the future direction of the profession in the southern region. These will be presented to the Southern DHB early next year, and will include a recommendation that the Board establish a Director of Nursing in Primary Health.

The move comes in response to issues voiced and discussed at the southern PHC nurses’ conference, Southern Rebirth, held in Balclutha last month.

Southern Rebirth facilitator and Otago Polytechnic School of Nursing Principal Lecturer, Jean Ross, says the amalgamation of the Otago and Southland DHBs has raised a number of concerns about PHC nursing. “We have identified major gaps in the leadership, communication and networking of PHC nurses within this large geographical region, and we feel these issues need to be promptly addressed by the Southern DHB,” she says. “This is vital for the provision of effective health care throughout the south, and can only benefit PHC nurses and their patients in the community.”

An interim Primary Health Care Nurses Working Party has been formed to advance a strategy for the future. It will ask the DHB to appoint a Director of Nursing in Primary Health alongside its existing Director of Nursing role, and to agree to a plan for better communication channels for PHC nurses throughout the large and diverse southern area.

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