Eileen Goodwin

'Seclusion' surprise

'Seclusion' surprise

High rates of locking mental health patients in seclusion at Southern District Health Board institutions have surprised the board, which says it cannot afford to hire more nurses to reduce its reliance on the practice.

Wary psychiatrists avoiding off-label use of ketamine

Wary psychiatrists avoiding off-label use of ketamine

Psychiatrists in New Zealand are ''wary'' of using the anaesthetic ketamine as an antidepressant because of publicity arising from a Health and Disability Commissioner investigation about its use in Dunedin, Prof Paul Glue says.

Screening plan believed to be unsafe

Screening plan believed to be unsafe

The Southern District Health Board pitched a confidential plan to Counties Manukau DHB for it to employ Southern breast-screening radiologists, but was refused as the idea was deemed unsafe, documents released under the Official Information Act show.

SDHB kept lid on crisis

SDHB kept lid on crisis

A senior doctor's letter the Southern District Health Board tried for months to keep secret warns of a ''very real'' risk a patient will die because of a ''crisis'' in its Dunedin Hospital ear, nose, and throat department.

Board term ends with finances tight

Board term ends with finances tight

The outspoken Dunedin Hospital doctor elected to the Southern District Health Board will soon understand how little money there is to spend, chairman Joe Butterfield told board members at their final meeting of the three-year term.

Scepticism over Ngai Tahu plan

Scepticism over Ngai Tahu plan

Health unions are expressing fears about a Ngai Tahu proposal to invest in Dunedin Hospital.

Mental health questions

Mental health questions

A key part of the oversight of compulsory treatment of mental health patients appears to fall short of acceptable standards for exercising such power, a new book on New Zealand's mental health law suggests.

Graduate nurses face cuts

Graduate nurses face cuts

Deferring some graduate nurse places, cutting bed numbers, and possibly reducing medical staff in a bid to save money is a sad legacy for the outgoing Southern District Health Board, senior doctors' union southern representative Dr John Chambers says.

Audiology service improvements seen

Employing suitably qualified audiology staff has been the most important factor in ''significant'' improvements to Dunedin Hospital's audiology service, a review released by Southern District Health Board under the Official Information Act says.

Breast-screening replacement may be better

Breast-screening replacement may be better

Women in Otago and Southland migh receive a better quality breast-screening service by a different provider than the present health board service, which is ''limping along'', Federation of Women's Health Councils co-convener Barbara Robson says.