What have people been saying?

7 August 2017

CE Jim Green

Last week I attended the National Bi-Partite Action Group meeting. As I have mentioned before, I am the Chief Executive representative on this national group which comprises representatives from the major health unions (NZNO, PSA, Apex, RDA, E tū, ASMS), the Council of Trade Unions and the DHBs.

This meeting as one of the items on the agenda we considered what could be done to address the issues that DHB staff raise in their responses to staff engagement surveys. 

30,000 responses to surveys from around the country – yours included – have been analysed and there was congruence around six themes.

These were (not in order of priority):

1.Make it easier for us to work here by taking away bureaucracy.

2.Enable me with visible, supportive and consistent leadership.

3.Communicate with me proactively and listen to what I have to say.

4.Give me the tools and resources to do my job.

5.Recognise that workload is a problem.

6.Deal with behaviour that’s not OK. Promote a culture of working together.

Now I know that to a greater or lesser extent all those six themes apply at Hauora Tairāwhiti, just as they apply in all DHBs according to the voices of 30,000 people. It shows the value of responding to surveys of this type because they build a picture that can be addressed locally and nationally. So I ask again that clinical staff participate in the Otago Survey of the Quality and Safety Culture in DHBs.

However, what is the point if all that is recorded is a summary of what people said?

Nationally the unions and DHBs have developed up the areas to work on first and made suggestions as to how the actions can be shared – with unions and DHBs playing their part in responding in practical ways to the themes.

Locally I know we already have action on some of these areas but let’s increase the pace.

When I get to wards and departments I will be asking questions about the themes because I need to understand what they mean in your actual day to day work. In the fortnightly walk abouts I do in conjunction with the Professional Leads (Directors of Nursing, Allied Health and Technical, and Midwifery, plus the Chief Medical Officer) we will also ask those questions. We will be out tomorrow afternoon at 3pm so if you have thoughts be ready to share them.

And next week is our local bi-partite meeting – the Joint Union Consultative Committee. I will have the six themes on the agenda there to hear union and delegate feedback on what we can do to respond. So also give your ideas through to your worksite delegates so they can add to the conversation.

And in that way we can step up action on theme 3 as a boost to the rest.

Have a good week everyone, in the sun with warmer temperatures it seems so hopefully that means recovery time for our colleagues affected by the winter colds and flu, plus better health for our community with less reliance on acute hospital care.