Petition on hospital ready to deliver

Gary Kircher
Gary Kircher
A petition asking for an "independent survey of staff satisfaction" at Oamaru Hospital will be delivered to Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher on Tuesday next week.

The petition was first circulated by the Waitaki Community Hospital Action Group in March and attracted 1208 signatures.

Group chairwoman Dr Janice Clayton said it was prompted by growing community concerns about "the effect of a proposed restructure of Waitaki District Health Services", announced in February.

The concerns included the "wellbeing of existing staff and the negative flow-on effect to patient care".

Speaking at a public forum at a recent Waitaki District Council meeting, Dr Clayton said that during the restructure in April there was a "general feeling" experienced staff were expendable.

More than 30 staff had left since the restructure.

She questioned whether the restructure had delivered its intended purpose, which she said was to "provide safer services closer to home for our community in an integrated community-based system within a defined budget".

The group called for the council to take action, given WDHS, which owns and operates the hospital, was a council-controlled organisation.

"We are requesting ... that you as a council review the CCO statement of intent and conduct an independent survey of staff satisfaction regarding their relationship with management, their current working conditions and their overall satisfaction as employees.

"We want a hospital that puts people first. This means systems that value the people that work in them and facilities that are safe and inclusive for patients and their families. ... We believe that the harm that has been done needs to be addressed and that those affected by it receive an apology."

Mr Kircher said he had repeatedly apologised to any staff that had been affected by the restructure and that as the council was a shareholder it "had no say in how the process was managed".


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