Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


DHBs fail clinical leadership tests

DHBs fail clinical leadership tests


“District health boards are too busy telling their Minister what they think he wants to hear and are failing to provide the leadership New Zealand’s health system needs,” said Mr Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), today.

“We’ve surveyed our members working in public hospitals two times now, and both times we’ve found that not enough is being done to provide senior doctors and dentists with opportunities for clinical leadership,” he says. “A few DHBs and chief executives are doing well, and they’re to be commended, but most are really failing.

“Frankly, they’re missing the point of clinical leadership. It’s not a luxury or a nice-to-have but an essential part of a safe modern health system. It’s a no-brainer to involve a highly skilled professional and committed workforce in leadership decisions about the services they then have to deliver.”

The first ASMS survey was done in August and September 2013, and found that most hospital specialists (63%) simply did not have enough time to take part in clinical leadership activities.

The second survey carried out at the end of last year, and reported in the latest issue of the ASMS magazine The Specialist, aimed to better understand the performance of individual DHBs, chief executives and hospital managers on the issue of clinical leadership.

“The findings make for grim reading,” says Mr Powell. “There’s significant variation between the DHBs and chief executives performing well and those at the bottom of the class, who really need to be sent to the principal’s office for some remedial homework.”

He says the failure to engage with hospital specialists and involve them more fully in decision-making is not just an issue for the people managing New Zealand’s hospitals; it can also be sheeted home to the Government.

“The broader political failure to invest in the specialist workforce has resulted in entrenched shortages which have become the norm in the health sector. One of the consequences of this is an increased workload for senior doctors and less time to get involved in anything else. Improving clinical leadership was once a flagship government policy. Now it is a policy failure.”

Mr Powell says DHBs have been saying all of the right things about clinical engagement for several years now but the two membership surveys show the reality is somewhat different.

“DHBs need to lift their game in this area as it has flow-on effects for patients, specialists and health care delivery. It’s not enough for them to tell the Government what it wants to hear about clinical engagement – they need to provide some real leadership for the sector,” concluded Mr Powell.

The latest survey results, just published, found:

DHB ratings - 30% of members surveyed thought their DHB was genuinely committed to distributive clinical leadership, 47% felt their DHB was not, and the remaining 23% were not sure. Just two DHBs scored higher than 50% - Canterbury (62%) and Lakes (56%). The worst results were recorded for Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, Southern, Bay of Plenty, and Auckland DHBs.
Chief executive ratings – members rated their chief executive’s commitment to enabling effective distributive clinical leadership in their DHB’s decision-making. Overall, 12% thought their chief executive was working to a great extent to do this, 46% believed to some extent, 18% to no extent, and 24% said they didn’t know. Canterbury/West Coast DHBs’ Chief Executive David Meates was the standout performer while 12 other chief executives received the lowest ratings.

DHB senior managers – by and large these people were rated lower than the chief executives they report to. Just 8% were thought to be enabling clinical leadership in decision-making to a great extent, 45% to some extent, 25% to no extent, and 22% of members were not sure. When the ‘great extent’ and ‘some extent’ categories are combined, the top performing senior managers appear to be in Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury, Lakes, Nelson Marlborough and Taranaki DHBs. The poorest performers are South Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, Southern, Wairarapa and the Hutt Valley DHBs.

DHB middle managers – these rated even lower, with just 7% of members saying they enable effective distributive clinical leadership to a great extent, 43% to some extent, 32% to no extent, and 18% saying they do not know.

Human resource managers – these performed worst in the survey, with a national average rating of just 2% for ‘great extent’ 19% for some extent, and 40% considered not to be enabling distributive clinical leadership at all. Another 39% of members said they did not know if their HR manager was enabling clinical leadership.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news