No debate on review of surgery

02:15, Jan 31 2013

The future of surgical services at Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, won't be discussed by the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board until feedback from staff and management has been collected, says board member Gerald Hope.

Staff understood hospital operations better than board members who simply had a governance role, Mr Hope said yesterday.

However, any final decision over the possible reduction of general and orthopaedic surgery at Wairau would be made by the board, he said.

"The buck stops with us."

A plan to review surgical services at Wairau was presented to the board at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, but the agenda item was passed over with little discussion.

Mr Hope, of Blenheim, raised the matter hoping to spark some debate but no-one responded.


The board's medical surgical directorate had put forward a range of options that it wanted staff to comment on, including duplication of services and having elective-only surgery at Wairau Hospital.

Hospital staff had until February 28 to comment on options and from that, a proposal would be developed to go before the board by the end of March.

Mr Hope said he was looking forward to feedback from staff and the executive management team.

He also welcomed the opportunity for public consultation as a necessary step in the process.

"Until we hear back from staff and get the report back from management there is nothing to discuss.

"Only when the report is presented to the board in March can we get our teeth into it."

The Marlborough Express