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Earlier this year, Chris Fleming and the Ministry of Health commissioned Hamilton-based consultant Leena Singh to assess how the SDHB was functioning.
Her draft report, which was supplied to the Otago Daily Times, pulled no punches as it depicted an organisation which lurched from crisis to crisis and needed to rethink its management and governance structure.
"In reading the report there are statements which we do not necessarily agree with, but there are many themes contained in the report which indeed ring true," Mr Fleming said in a report to be considered by the board tomorrow.
"Rather than litigating detail in the report it is our view that we should pick up on the recommendations, consider them and then take action to implement those recommendations."
Mr Fleming said the majority of Ms Singh’s 30 recommendations had merit, and he had already assigned members of the SDHB’s executive team to work on some of those.
He had also invited Ms Singh to work directly with his executives to implement one of her key recommendations, introduction of a performance and accountability framework.
Ms Singh’s report said the lack of such a framework meant that when changes needed to be made sometimes the responsibility to do that work ended up with the wrong manager.
"At the SDHB there is a notable reaction to variation, with lots of senior resources involved and decisions made from different parts of the management team without fully understanding the implications of the decision, resulting in short-term ‘fixes’ that create a chain reaction of crisis the following weeks/months.
"Implementing an accountability and performance framework within the DHB will draw the key risks of the organisation out early and allow for adequate planning to mitigate the identified risk."
Mr Fleming said he regarded the other key issues to pursue from the Singh report to be realigning the responsibilities of the executive team, improving relations with clinical staff and ensuring resources were better used by the SDHB to ensure better clinical practice, operational efficiencies and financial payback.
The SDHB recorded a $5.2million deficit for the month of June, which meant its provisional year end result was a $28.4 million deficit, against a planned deficit of $10.9million.