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Encouraging Innovation is at the core of new health boss’s proposed restructure

Dr Nigel Murray

Dr Nigel Murray

A move to streamline the District Health Board’s executive leadership has come one year after the board released a report into the organisation’s effectiveness.

When appointed in July 2014, incoming chief executive Dr Nigel Murray indicated he would review the leadership structure to better respond to the health needs of Waikato and wider regional communities.

The proposed restructure was released to affected staff for consultation yesterday and it is intended it be finalised by mid-June.

“The strategy here is to fulfill our potential as a DHB,” Dr Murray said. “The strength of New Zealand’s health legislation is that DHBs oversee all health services, from end to end, and I want us to seize the opportunity that this presents.”

The proposed restructure affects the executive level of leadership, which has been realigned to enhance the organisation’s overall service delivery and performance.

Over the coming 12 months, further changes are anticipated which will strengthen partnerships between clinical and administrative staff.

“A key part of this process was consultation,” Dr Murray said. “There is a huge amount of expertise in our organisation which we listened to, and of course we took notice of the review document which included hundreds of interviews with our staff.”

“This proposal is intended to emphasise innovation and strategic opportunities for Waikato DHB,” he added.

Murray acknowledged the review of the restructure took longer than he had hoped but said he wanted to understand any ripple effects and ensure the proposal was well-informed.

“It is difficult to undertake a review of this nature without getting into discussions about the structure below the executive level,” he said. “I want to assure people we have a strong commitment to clinical partnership which will be improved through changes at other levels subsequent to this review.”

Along with the restructure, Murray has released a response to the Ministry of Health report.

The Review of Opportunities For The Incoming Chief Executive report outlined key areas for improvement. Murray’s response identifies almost 30 changes made by the DHB over the past year to answer suggestions from the report, including several pieces of work the DHB is undertaking to improve patient access and services.

As well as affected staff engaging in direct consultation, wider stakeholder feedback is welcomed over the coming two weeks.

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