Bullying and workload top DHB's survey list
Bullying, workloads and staffing levels are among concerns raised in a survey of MidCentral District Health Board staff.
But several board members questioned at a meeting this week the reliability of the information the survey collected.
The Staff Culture Safety Survey was completed by about half of DHB staff, who gave the organisation an overall score of 6.1 out of 10.
At Tuesday's meeting in Pahiatua, board chief executive Murray Georgel said he was pleased with the response level and said the findings showed the DHB had a "good safety climate" and did not knowingly compromise staff or patient safety.
However, several board members questioned the survey results and whether the concerns raised were widely held or those of a disgruntled few.
Board member Jack Drummond said he "wouldn't beat myself to death" with the survey results.
"You don't know who answered."
Mr Drummond said it was unknown what factors had influenced staff members on the days they filled in the surveys.
They were completed in June at a busy time for the hospital, he said, and if the survey had been conducted in summer, results could be more positive.
Board member Karen Naylor, who also works as a nurse at Palmerston North Hospital, said the survey provided a "good benchmark" for the board to track progress.
There was value in the content staff provided, she said.
"I would assume people don't fill it in flippantly."
More than 3500 comments were included in the survey responses.
"While a good number of positive comments were made by those completing the survey, some also took the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions to help MDHB make improvements," a report on the survey results says.
Six areas of concern were listed, under the heading Suggestions for Improvement.
"Across most clinical areas and across most occupational groups . . . staff reported workloads were high, that staffing levels did not match demand and in some areas there was an inappropriate skill mix," the report says.
"Staff reported that their manager was not visible, that they did not give feedback and this contributed to staff not feeling valued."
Other concerns raised included performance issues and bullying not being addressed in a timely way, the use of outdated computers and inadequate clinical and office space.
MidCentral human resources manager Anne Amoore said as a result of the survey's findings, a draft work programme had been produced and sent to staff for feedback.
"The survey is a snapshot in time and provides valuable feedback from our staff.
"It identifies areas of focus where MDHB can improve our safety culture for both staff and patients.
"A draft work programme has been developed to address the key findings and this programme includes new initiatives as well as those already planned or under way."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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