A “far-reaching” review into the operation and management of the South East Regional Hospital has been announced by the NSW Health Minister.
Minister Brad Hazzard has released a statement saying an independent review, flagged two weeks ago, will be looking deep into the hospital’s overall functioning, rather than just the orthopaedic services as initially outlined.
The review was prompted by concerns expressed by hospital staff and the community, and through Bega MP Andrew Constance, about the functioning of the hospital.
Associate Professor Michael Reid, an experienced health administrator and former Director General of NSW Health and Queensland Health, will conduct the review supported by Dr Adrian Norwitzke, a neurosurgeon with broad experience across both clinical and business practice.
“I feel confident that with reviewers of this calibre we will be able to define a way forward for this magnificent new hospital, that will allay the concerns of patients, staff, management and the broader Bega Valley community,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Achieving a brand new hospital that offers expanded intensive care and critical care services, extra medical and surgical beds, a new, dedicated rehabilitation service and dedicated palliative care beds, is a giant leap forward for the Bega community.
“But, as Andrew Constance has emphasised, we have to make sure in a collaborative way that the operation of the new hospital befits the magnificent new hospital structure that we have.
“We need to get to the point where everyone feels really confident that the doctors, nurses, ancilliary staff, community and the local health district are all singing off the same page when it comes to getting the best outcomes for patients.
“Accordingly, I’ve called for a review because we want to ensure that the right processes and procedures exist to ensure a successful transition to this new era in health care provision in the Bega Valley,” Mr Hazzard said.
Under the agreed Terms of Reference, the reviewers will:
I feel confident that with reviewers of this calibre we will be able to define a way forward for this magnificent new hospital
- analyse and assess the role of the hospital and local health district management in establishing processes and procedures for transitioning to the new hospital
- identify any deficiencies in the management of the hospital
- assess existing mechanisms for clinician and staff engagement and communication and their potential impact on culture, morale and staff turnover
- assess systems and the capacity to detect, respond and manage emerging critical issues.
The review is scheduled to be delivered to the Secretary of NSW Health by the end of April.
Meanwhile, surgeon Chris Phoon said discussions with SERH management over a contract are yet to reach a resolution.