Review group 'to bounce ideas off '
The region's health boss has played down the role of a steering group set up to help independent clinicians find a suitable health service for the top of the south.
Nelson Marlborough District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said the reference group was not a decision-making forum with specific veto powers.
Rather, it was established for the review group, of lead clinicians, to bounce ideas off, Mr Fleming said.
"The reference group is there for the reviewers to share direction and ideas with, which in turn will be used to influence the work within the more detailed specialty-based groups," he said.
"In order for the top of the south service review to be successful it is essential that various views and ideas are fed into the thinking. The reference group is an important part of this."
In his report to board members on Tuesday, Mr Fleming said that any ideas deemed "unpalatable" by the group would "go no further".
However, the group did not need veto powers, he said.
"The reviewers know that the board has committed to engaging with the wider community before the final recommendations are considered and adopted . . . the reference group is therefore simply another resource available to the reviewers to ensure the best results are achieved within the review. It would be extremely unwise of the reviewers to hear a string of feedback from the reference group and not take their views into consideration."
Consultation with the wider community was planned for November.
The reference group was likely to meet monthly over the next four months, however, this was up to the reviewers and the group, he said.
Mr Fleming announced the makeup of the reference group at Tuesday's board meeting in Blenheim.
It consists of five community representatives from Marlborough and three from Nelson and Tasman.
It also has a GP and an emergency department doctor from each region - Andrew Morgan from Blenheim's Wairau Hospital, and Clive Garlick, from Nelson.
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