Back to the future

10 July 2017

CE Jim Green

Last week I announced to Medirest Cleaning, Orderly and Security staff that from 2 October 2017 they would be working for Hauora Tairāwhiti to deliver their services. This was the result of an analysis and decision not to renew the contract with Medirest.

I am informed that Cleaning, Orderly and Security services were contacted out 22 years ago and have remained that way. So why change now?

There are two main reasons:

Our team of cleaners, orderlies and security people play a significant role in ensuring care for people at Hauora Tairāwhiti. While we have always enjoyed a close working relationship, there are opportunities to align our staffing and care needs better with this key group. For instance with the increasing acuity of people admitted to the hospital, and the increased use of one-on-one care in the wards, the lines between the people providing care are blurred. There are real opportunities if these are realigned. 

The second is that we believe we will save money. That is very much needed in our current circumstances. Staffing levels will not drop. Medirest cleaners, orderlies and security people will be employed on their current terms and conditions.Guarantees have been given on those. However, we do see overheads reducing and opportunities for alignment will reduce costs.

Planning is underway to ensure a smooth transition with no disruption to hospital services. There will be regular updates on the transition as we work through the practicalities. I know all Hauora Tairāwhiti staff join me in welcoming our new members of the team.

I also want to thank Medirest for their services over the years. The relationship will continue. The Food Services contract is not moving. Food Services staff will stay employed by Medirest.

So it is back to the future. However, the Hauora Tairāwhiti and Gisborne Hospital of today is a markedly different one to that of 1995, and set to continue changing. Today’s challenges need new thought and action.

Have a good week everyone.




PS – Fun fact: Decimal currency introduced in NZ 50 years ago today!