New perspective on SDHB woes

The man drafted in to help the Southern District Health Board says he provided a new perspective on the organisation's ''significant challenges''.

A leaked document last week revealed Nelson Marlborough DHB chief executive Chris Fleming had been advising the board after a projected deficit of $42 million in 2015-16.

''At the moment, I'm not really at liberty to say much.

''I was asked by the chair and chief executive to spend a couple of weeks down in Dunedin last month and to review where things were.''

Mr Fleming has written a report about the board's problems, which has not been made public.

''They've got significant challenges. I was just hoping that [with a] fresh outside look at the information I could give them some ideas from the outside.''

Board chairman Joe Butterfield said Southern had a ''very lean'' senior management team, and was receiving support from ''various other DHBs''.

''We just have not got the staff - and I don't mean in competence; I mean in numbers.

''We are carrying out a lot of investigations into various parts of our organisation, which require managerial expertise and input.''

Acting chief executive Lexie O'Shea released a statement to the ODT but did not respond to requests for an interview last week.

''We are currently working through our 2015-16 budgeting process. We have clear expectations around reducing our deficit and are working towards this.

''It is not appropriate to speculate on the likely year-end position while we develop our budgets.

''Chris Fleming is an experienced health leader and it is very useful to have his ongoing support and input as required,'' Mrs O'Shea said.

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