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More hospital failures: Auckland service slated

Tony Ryall MP
National Party Health Spokesman
& Dr Jonathan Coleman
National Party Associate Health Spokesman

21 February 2008

More hospital failures: Auckland service slated

“Only a day after some of the health sector's most serious mistakes were revealed, mental health services at the Auckland District Health Board have been slated following a series of deaths, including suicides,” says National Party Health spokesman Tony Ryall.

The external review for the Auckland District Health Board and the Government is yet another severely critical assessment of Auckland's mental health services.

"Auckland has seen review after review of its mental health service, millions of dollars of extra money, and yet still mental health services are in trouble.

"Aucklanders will be asking if the DHB can ever it get it right, with yet another restructure planned.

"What the sentinel events report highlights is the vital need for a culture of strong clinical leadership and a commitment to quality across all parts of the health system,” says Mr Ryall.

"Our hospitals need more than money. That’s why, in our Health Discussion Paper, we have laid out proposals to get ongoing improvements in performance and quality.”

These include:

- A new partnership with the health professions: Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals should be set free from the bureaucracy that has taken over our hospitals. They should have leadership in the planning and operation of hospitals.

- Better information for the public: The introduction of star ratings should be considered to improve performance reporting in areas such as safety, staffing, productivity, and patient satisfaction.

- Clinical networks: Doctors and nurses should work with NGOs, administrators, and patients to help plan, deliver, and evaluate services. Clinical networks would help foster a culture of learning and teaching, as well as develop and improve standards and practices across the country.

National’s Mental Health spokesman Dr Jonathan Coleman says "it's important that mental health services are performing well in Auckland, as the need is great. We know Aucklanders worry about quality mental health services and we will be monitoring this new structure closely.”


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