The Southern District Health Board has ranked poorly in a
survey of senior doctors.
The board was ranked 18th of the 20 health boards in terms of
the support it gave doctors to assume leadership roles in the
Asked specifically about chief executives, southern
specialists ranked Carole Heatly 12th of the 20 board heads,
while senior management in the South ranked 16th.
Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive
director Ian Powell said he was not surprised Ms Heatly fared
better than her senior management team.
''The problem is not so much Carole Heatly. She's somewhere
in the middle of the pack [of chief executives].''
''My take on Carole is that generally she interacts with
medical staff well. They find her good to talk to, good to
At the ''core of the problem'' were senior managers, he
He suggested Ms Heatly needed to ''ferret around'' when
issues arose in individual health services, rather than
taking managers' advice at ''face value''.
''I think she has been poorly advised in a number of areas.''
In an emailed response, Ms Heatly told the Otago Daily
Times: ''I am pleased with the results, given that the
senior management team had only been in place for a year when
the survey was undertaken.
''We are working hard to engage with the clinical staff and
I'm looking forward to further improvement next time the
survey is conducted,'' she said.
In general, health boards performed poorly in the survey,
which was conducted at the end of last year, Mr Powell said
in a media statement.
''A few DHBs and chief executives are doing well, and they're
to be commended, but most are really failing.
''Frankly, they're missing the point of clinical leadership.
It's not a luxury or a nice-to-have, but an essential part of
a safe modern health system.
''It's a no-brainer to involve a highly skilled professional
and committed workforce in leadership decisions about the
services they then have to deliver,'' he said.
Blame for the lack of support for clinical leadership could
be apportioned to the Government for not sufficiently
investing in the specialist workforce, Mr Powell said.