Proposed changes to the Southern District Health Board would see 23 jobs axed.
Changes, outlined on Thursday, propose the disestablishment of 59 management positions, and the creation of 36 new roles.
Southern DHB chief executive Chris Fleming said the proposal to reshape the board’s management was aimed at developing an operating model with less complexity, and greater focus on critical strategic areas including primary care.
Fleming said the number of job reductions may change following consultation with staff.
* Hospital ED patients sent away with paid GP vouchers
* Invercargill urgent doctor fees slammed as ‘ridiculous’
* SDHB appoints Chris Fleming to chief’s role
“There will be some people very positive about what we’re proposing, and there will be some negativity.”
The 59 jobs at stake are tier 2, 3 and 4. Fleming said tier 2 was senior executive positions.
Tier 3 were general managers and other people who directly reported to an executive manager and tier 4 were positions such as service managers and team leaders.
There were some financial savings expected from the proposed changes, Fleming said.
The amount of savings had not been quantified and would not be known until the final changes were known, he said.
“If the staff reduction of 23 does go ahead, there will be a significant financial saving.”
Fleming said the final announcement was expected on June 23.
“I am expecting to make final decision and meet with affected staff and discuss the final structure across the week of the 19th to the 23rd of June.”
He appreciated that the changes proposed would be unusual to staff, Fleming said.
“We do have to support staff while they consider what we’re proposing.”
The DHB was faced with the challenge of care for future generations, as part of planning for the Dunedin Hospital rebuild, he said.
“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.”
Fleming says the proposal also responds to staff feedback through the Southern Future programme and elsewhere, seeking clearer decision-making processes at the DHB, and more focus on building a more effective infrastructure in areas such as IT.
He wanted to reduce the time staff spent travelling between sites by strengthening site-specific leadership roles.
Fleming acknowledged the outstanding contributions of all its staff.
“Southern DHB employs outstanding people who work extremely hard,” he said.
“I appreciate this is an unsettling time and thank all staff for their continued efforts as we work through this proposal.
“I remind staff that this is a proposal, and I am open to feedback and alternative solutions.”
The consultation period continues until May 26.