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Review of Southern DHB urology service offers advice

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Review of Southern DHB urology service offers advice

An external review of Southern DHB’s urology service has offered “strong, practical suggestions for the future”, says Southern DHB CEO Chris Fleming.

The review was commissioned as a response to staff concerns about resourcing levels, and wider DHB concerns around the performance of this service, including lengthy waiting lists at the Dunedin site for both elective surgeries and outpatient appointments.

“We sincerely apologise to those patients affected by delays in our Urology service. That they have suffered and been inconvenienced due to the issues identified in the review is unacceptable. It is their experiences we are keeping in the forefront of our mind as we accept the findings from the review and commit to making improvements and providing them with certainty regarding their care,” Mr Fleming said.

The review’s aim was to identify opportunities for improvements to processes, and look at resourcing needs, to ensure the sustainability of the service.

An action plan is being developed to implement the recommendations.

Making the improvements would require not only addressing the processes and resources that need to change, but rebuilding relationships between senior management and clinicians, Fleming said.

“Greater collaboration and engagement is the only solution to the challenges the DHB faces. This is why investing in organisational culture has been such a high priority for Southern DHB. The review has been a positive step in putting the issues on the table, and enabling us to name and address them.”

Urology service clinical leader Alastair Hepburn added that he was encouraged to be working with management to affect changes “we have felt long overdue”.

“I am hopeful the report will translate into a real improvement in the delivery of the urology service to our patients who frankly deserve better.”

Fleming thanked the reviewers for their investigation, and the staff at the DHB for openly sharing their experiences to ensure we provide the best possible service to our patients. “We must now all work together to progressively implement the findings to improve care to the population we serve”.

Key recommendations from the review include:

District-wide (Dunedin and Southland):

• Review the service size and gain an understanding of theatre and outpatient capacity and waiting times on both sites

• Standardise protocols and policies across the whole DHB

• Establish a collaborative approach across the whole service

• Review after hours care provision across the district

Dunedin site:

• Develop a recovery plan to address backlog

• Improve outpatients environment and throughput

• Ensure theatre time is maximised

• Clarify staff roles and responsibilities

• Review SMO job sizing and job plans

• Review nursing resource supporting the service

• Address critical facility issues impacting the service


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