News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Hutt Valley DHB running short on senior doctors

The Hutt Valley District Health Board is operating with a significant shortage of senior doctors, according to a staffing survey carried out by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists.

ASMS has been looking at senior doctor staffing levels across DHBs by asking clinical hospital leaders to assess how many full-time specialist positions are needed in their department to provide quality and timely treatment for patients.

The Hutt Valley DHB survey, which was carried out between August-October last year, found an estimated shortage of about 23 specialists across 15 departments.

That’s 26% fewer senior doctors than clinical directors estimate there should be, to provide proper care to the community.

Recent reports about problems at Hutt Valley’s maternity services, including the tragic death of a baby, have highlighted staffing shortages and pressures.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says many of those who responded to the survey spoke about the shortages in the context of growing demand for clinical services and difficulties keeping up with patient needs.

“Staffing shortages lead to band-aid solutions which aren’t sustainable,” she says.

“They also throw up a lot of unseen stresses within the system. When senior doctors are so under the pump, they risk not only burnout, but have little or no time to devote to teaching and guiding other staff which is an important part of their role and key to the investment in the future health workforce”.

Despite an estimated shortfall of 23 specialists, the Hutt Valley DHB was only advertising 9 vacant positions at the time of the ASMS survey.

“There’s a clear disconnect between the lived experience of staff and the DHB’s official vacancy rate,” Ms Dalton says.

Hutt Valley DHB is the 13th to be surveyed by ASMS since 2016. The current national average specialist shortfall is estimated at around 24%.

Read the full results for the Hutt Valley DHB survey here.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite
For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Floorball: NZ To Host World Cup Of Floorball In 2022

In a major coup for a minnow nation in the European-dominated sport of floorball, New Zealand has won the rights to host one of the sport’s marque international events. More>>

National Voyage Continues: Tuia 250 Ends

Tuia 250 has unleashed an unstoppable desire to keep moving forward and continue the kōrero about who we are, say the co-chairs of the Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee, Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. More>>


Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>





  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland