Dunedin Hospital's emergency department has a clinical
leader, Dr Caroline Collins, nearly a year after her
predecessor stepped down over staff numbers.
A memo advising Dr Collins had accepted the position was sent
to staff yesterday. Dr Collins, a specialist, has worked in
the department since 2010. The appointment takes immediate
The leadership position has been vacant since Dr Tim
Kerruish's sudden resignation last March.
The department was in better shape than a year ago, senior
doctors' union representative Dr John Chambers said
A new observation unit, opened in August, had improved its
''The new ward, which we waited so long for, is ticking over
very nicely. It's helping improve our performance quite a
bit,'' Dr Chambers said.
Doctors were in a standoff with management for months over
staff numbers, which the board said were adequate. However,
it eventually relented, agreeing to hire another 2.9
Dr Chambers said interviews for new specialists would be held
soon; the positions attracted high-calibre applications.
Patient services executive director Lexie O'Shea said, in a
statement, the board was ''delighted'' Dr Collins had
accepted the appointment.
Managers were working closely with doctors and nurses, and
there was a ''strong sense'' relationships had improved since
last year, she said.
A report to today's hospital advisory committee meeting says
the extra specialists would reduce decision-making delays.
The Dunedin ED met the six-hour treatment time for 91.4% of
patients in January, the report said. This compared with
91.5% in December and 90.1% in November. firstname.lastname@example.org