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Putting Women's Health First

Media Release

Date: 27 November 2012

Putting Women's Health First - a Vision to Improve

Three independent obstetric and midwifery experts brought in by Waikato District Health Board to review the current state and advise on a strategic direction for its Women’s Health service have come back with 26 recommendations for change grouped into four timeframes ranging from immediately to within five years.

Group manager Women’s Health Di Peers said the reviewers identified several challenges, which would require a commitment to patient safety and quality improvement.

“We must put Waikato women’s health first.

“What the reviewers found when they interviewed staff, patients and interested parties was willingness, and in some cases an overwhelming desire, to deliver the highest standard of patient care with respect and dignity.

“I have complete confidence that Women’s Health will deliver that while addressing the identified challenges.

“Although challenging, we will do it in partnership with our staff, lead maternity carers and the women who use our services.

Chief operating officer Jan Adams accepted four of the seven “immediate recommendations” while the other three are under further consideration.

Of the other 19 recommendations, Mrs Adams accepted 15 with the other four under further consideration.

At a presentation with Women’s Health staff and interested parties at 12.30pm today (27 November), Mrs Adams said she called for the review in September this year.

“We knew there was a need to strengthen clinical leadership, we’ve had challenges relating to our workforce, recommendations to make changes from external parties and other challenges of providing a sustainable service with variable performances,” she said.

Mrs Adams asked reviewers John Tait, Chris Hendry and Laura Aileone to provide an overview of the current state and give recommendations on the next steps.

Their main aim was to identify service improvement opportunities and to inform development of a five-year strategic and operational plan.

The establishment of a Putting Women’s Health First project board reporting through to the Board of Clinical Governance will streamline the processes around implementing a five-year strategic plan starting immediately.

• The executive summary with reviewers’ recommendations and Waikato DHB’s responses are online


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About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:

Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 372,865 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6000 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of more than $701 million and 5238 staff. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

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