Presbytarian Support Otago (PSO) will decide this week
whether to go ahead with a legal challenge over a decision to
dump the organisation as a home support provider, its chief
executive says. This comes after the Southern District Health
Board declined a PSO request asking to meet board members, on
the basis of a legal opinion.
PSO chief executive Gillian Bremner said it received a letter
from DHB chairman Joe Butterfield responding to its request
on Friday afternoon.
''I understand your client's disappointment in not being
selected the third provider for home and community-based
services, but the DHB is not revisiting that decision.
Accordingly, I can not agree to a meeting to discuss
reconsideration of the selection process,'' Mr Butterfield
said in the letter.
PSO's board would meet on Thursday to decide whether to go
ahead with legal action against the DHB - which could mean
going to court.
She could not say which way the board was leaning at this
''Obviously, it's a significant issue and it wouldn't be a
decision that's made lightly,'' she said.
However, she was confident in the legal opinion supplied by
Dr Royden Somerville QC, which identified flaws in the
process that led to the decision to dump PSO.
Southern District Health Board chief executive Carole Heatly
said in a statement it was sticking by its decision to drop
''We believe we have been through a fair and transparent
tender process and that we have appointed the best possible
providers to care for those who require home help in our
''The process was externally audited and the new model of
care, which will provide an enhanced and more flexible
service to clients, extensively consulted on and supported,''
Ms Heatly said.
A petition calling for the board to reconsider closed at 5pm
yesterday and Mrs Bremner expected the final tally of
signatures to number more than 10,000.