Nurses group seeks change

A group of community nurses say they are not adequately represented at the Southern District Health Board, and are pushing for change.

The initiative, branded Southern Rebirth, requests the DHB set up an executive-level position administering community health nurses. At present, they are under the purview of the regional chief nursing and midwifery officer.

Otago Polytechnic School of Nursing principal lecturer Jean Ross, who has helped organise the group, said after the 2010 district health board and primary health organisation mergers, the South was a huge health entity, where too little was known about how community nurses fared.

"We have identified major gaps in the leadership, communication, and networking of public health care nurses within this large geographical region, and we feel these issues need to be promptly addressed by the Southern DHB," Ms Ross said.

A working party has been established to work up a proposal for the DHB.

As well as seeking a community nursing director, the group wants to see improved communication channels for community nurses.

Asked for comment, acting chief nursing and midwifery officer Tina Gilbertson said through a spokeswoman that the DHB would consider the proposal at the appropriate time.


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