17 March 2017

NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard has announced a far-reaching review into the operation and management of the new South East Regional Hospital at Bega.

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.

The review has been prompted by concerns expressed by local MP Andrew Constance and by staff and the community about the functioning of the hospital.

“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.

The $190 million hospital opened last year, providing residents of the Bega Valley Shire with access to a wider range of health care services without the need to travel out of the area.

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 emphasized, 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.”

Under the agreed Terms of Reference, the reviewers will:

  • 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, NSW Health, by the end of April.