The fewer providers chosen for home-based services, the
greater each organisation's ability to hire highly skilled
staff, a Southern District Health Board report says.
The document, obtained by the Otago Daily Times, was
prepared for the board, which just before Christmas announced
it was moving from 17 to three providers, at the expense of
Presbyterian Support Otago, which lost a $5.5 million
The ideal number of providers was three, the document
''Having less providers reduces the complexity of the process
and gives each one the benefit of having greater economies of
scale to employ professional project management expertise.
''However, less providers also gives each provider greater
long-term responsibility for managing a larger market
Health professionals would supervise support workers and
liaise with GPs, nurses, pharmacists, hospice teams and
''To support the financial requirements of employing
registered health professionals and increasing training,
providers need to be able to minimise overhead costs in a
limited budget such as office space and information
Transferring clients and support workers to new providers
required ''significant project and change management''.
The providers selected needed to be ones that could work
together to achieve ''synergy'' on a joint service
development team. Finance and funding director Robert
Mackway-Jones, when contacted yesterday, acknowledged the
risk associated with fewer providers, but this was
''absolutely'' outweighed by the benefits of choosing three
providers over four.
''If you've got a lower number of providers in the mix...it
increases the risk profile because if one's not [performing]
you haven't got the opportunity for people to choose other
providers to go to.''
However, the new service model would be of ''huge benefit''
to clients. The chosen providers are Access, Healthcare New
Zealand, and the Royal District Nursing Service New Zealand.
The new model will be phased in from next month.
When it put the service out to tender, the board said the
maximum number of providers it would contract was four.