People attending meetings seeking answers from the Southern
District Health Board about why it dumped Presbyterian
Support Otago (PSO) and others in a shake-up of home-based
services ''left happy'', the board heard yesterday.
Finance and funding director Robert Mackway-Jones told the
board's meeting in Invercargill that information sessions in
Otago and Southland last month were well attended. Given an
explanation for the shake-up, people were generally happy
when they left the meetings, he said.
Board member Neville Cook agreed, saying carers at a meeting
he attended in Invercargill arrived upset because they
thought they could lose their jobs. The meeting was
''fractious'' at the start, but the carers relaxed once they
Their employers had not adequately explained the situation,
Mr Cook said.
Chief executive Carole Heatly said ''misinformation'' had
caused much confusion, which had been countered by direct
communication from the board. Mr Mackway-Jones said the
transition process was going fairly smoothly, old and new
providers working together to manage it.
Less than half the board's 4600 home-care clients faced a
change of provider, but all were moving to the new
''restorative'' model the board has said will greatly improve
The four-month transition period ends on July 1.
Much public criticism met the board's decision to move from
17 service providers to three. One provider, the
Australian-owned Royal District Nursing Service, is new to
the South, while the other two are well established.
The board received a petition last month with more than
13,000 signatures protesting the decision to dump PSO and its