Southern DHB Chief Executive Chris Fleming today confirmed the shape of the future leadership structure for the organisation, to increase focus on integration with primary care, clinical quality and safety, and reduce complexity in decision-making.

The final decisions follow an extensive period of consultation since an initial Proposal for Change was shared with staff and stakeholders two months ago.

They aim to build on the priorities identified through the Southern Future programme of work, where patients and the community called for more seamless and integrated health care services.

“Many of the driving forces in health care require transformational change to our primary services – whether in mental health, or caring for our ageing population. We need to ensure we have the right structures to ensure a strong and integrated, whole-of-system approach to delivering care.”

Fleming says new structure also responds to staff calls for clearer decision-making processes at the DHB, and more focus on building a more effective infrastructure in areas such as IT.  The changes also address the concerns raised particularly by nursing staff over the level of investment in senior nursing roles in the organisation.

Mr Fleming thanked staff for the high quality and considered feedback that was received through this process. “I am truly grateful for this input, which has influenced the final decisions, and has led to a better and more robust organisational structure.

“I am confident the new model offers important opportunities to make more effective use of our resources in pursuit of our shared goal of providing the very best care to our patients and communities.

“However, I acknowledge also that change is always challenging, and I appreciate the support staff continue to extend to their colleagues at this time.”  

Key changes from our current structure include:

  • Establishing two core operational teams of:
    • Specialist Services; and
    • Strategy, Primary & Community
  • Spreading corporate service responsibilities across the roles of
    • Finance, Procurement & Facilities,
    • People, Culture & Technology, and
    • Quality Improvement & Clinical Governance Solutions
  • Aligning Nursing and Allied Health, Scientific & Technical leadership to be broadly site specific, reporting operationally to the relevant management position and professionally to roles of the Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer, and Chief Allied Health, Scientific and Technical Officer
  • Providing greater clarity of accountability at Tier 3 level
  • The changes will see the disestablishment of 55 Tier 2, 3 and 4 leadership and management positions, and the creation of 42 new roles. It is expected this will enable savings of $1 million.

Key changes from the initial proposal include:

  • Reconfiguring and increasing nursing leadership positions to include Director and Associate Director of Nursing roles. The proposal suggested a reduction from 12 FTE nursing leadership roles to 5 FTE; the decision is to have 9 FTE nursing leadership roles
  • Medical Directors and Directors of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health, Scientific & Technical will all be at the same level in the organisation structure
  • Maintaining women’s and children’s health in the same directorate as each other, within the Medicine and Women’s & Children’s Health Directorate
  • Amendments to address the size of some roles. Changes include an additional General Manager role in Strategy, Primary and Community, increasing the Director of Midwifery FTE, the addition of Associate Director of Nursing roles and elevation of Director of Nursing to support nursing leadership
  • A Kaumatua will report to the Chief Executive, to provide support to the CEO, Commissioner and Executive Leadership teams.

Further detailed changes can be found in the decision document.