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Health board employees ''don't deserve the negativity'' of recent reports about the Southern District Health Board, a message to staff from top management says.
It had been a ''tough few weeks'' because of publicity generated by nurses' complaints about staffing and safety, Dunedin Hospital's leaking theatre suite, two IT failures, and the South Link Health dispute, chief executive Carole Heatly told staff in the message obtained by the Otago Daily Times this week.
''You don't deserve the negativity that is appearing in print.
''Timing is everything and in the last month a number of events have happened, and all at the same time.
''The press have dedicated column inches to the state of our buildings. We know they could be better. We've got years of backlog maintenance that we're working hard to catch up on, while at the same time working with the national capital committee to try and secure investment for new builds and refurbishment.
''Last, but not least, we've had the dispute with South Link Health rear its head again. The dispute has been running for years and we are now trying to bring it to a close through commercial negotiations,'' she wrote.