Grey Power wants an ''open honest answer'' from the
Southern District Health Board about why it ''wiped out'' a
trusted local provider of home support for older people, Grey
Power Otago president Jo Millar says.
The health board had not explained why Presbyterian Support
Otago (PSO) was ''inferior'' to the other tenderers,
including Royal District Nursing Service New Zealand
RDNSNZ is one of three providers chosen by the board in a
rationalisation of the service, but, unlike Access and
Healthcare New Zealand, is new to the South.
Mrs Millar will attend tomorrow's board meeting in Dunedin at
Wakari Hospital at 10am, at which PSO will urge the health
board to rethink its decision. PSO has said it plans to lodge
an interim legal injunction if unsuccessful.
Mrs Millar said she was also seeking a speaking slot to tell
board members of her concerns, including a perception of a
lack of transparency. Strong feelings were expressed at a
recent Otago-Southland Grey Power meeting, she said, where
representatives felt a good provider was ''wiped out''
without explanation or warning.
The board should release all documents relevant to the
decision, and individual board members should explain how
they voted, she said.
Mrs Millar said the health board assumed carers would
transfer from one employer to another, but this was not
guaranteed, and clients faced uncertainty. If elderly people
had to have a new carer, it took time to build trust with a
different person, she said. As a local organisation PSO,
along with regional partner Disabilities Resource Centre
Southland, knew the ''pitfalls and different scenarios'' of
service provision in the South, which included catering to a
sparsely populated area. Any surplus money from home support
must stay in the region, preferably to be used for training
and incentives for care support workers, she said.
Board chairman Joe Butterfield refused to respond to Mrs
Millar's comments when contacted yesterday.
Last week the Otago Daily Times was contacted by
RDNSNZ's parent organisation in Australia, after seeking
comment from the Auckland-based company. RDNS brand and
communications general manager Dan Woods, in an email from
Melbourne, said surplus revenue from New Zealand services
stayed in New Zealand, where it was directed to ''operations
and service provision''. The not-for-profit organisation had
a 127-year history in Australia.
''RDNSNZ has been delivering client-centred, goal-oriented
and strengths-based care in the Auckland region since 2009
and is pleased to be able to offer this new approach to
people living in the Southern District Health Board area.
''As a not-for-profit organisation with a focus on quality
and accountability, RDNSNZ is dedicated to meeting the needs
of clients and communities, helping people to live more
independent and fulfilling lives,'' the email said.