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Media Releases Archive

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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

June 16, 2008

West Coast DHB Welcomes Patient Safety Reassurance

West Coast District Health Board today welcomed a report from Dr. David Galler, Principal Medical Adviser to the Minister of Health, on the DHB’s investigation of claims made by a former employee of the DHB that patient safety was being compromised in a number of ways at Greymouth Base Hospital.

The DHB's own investigations had concluded that patient safety had not been compromised, but requested that the Ministry of Health appoint an independent reviewer to check that the investigation had been sound. Dr. Galler's report, released today, concludes that the investigation was "systematic, thorough and robust" and "no further investigation is warranted".

DHB Chief Executive, Kevin Hague, said today:

"This is great news, both for the West Coast public, who can take reassurance from the fact that Greymouth Base Hospital is as safe as any other in New Zealand, and for Hospital staff, who can take pride in the quality of services they provide and the positive things that Dr. Galler has to say about them."

I hope those news media who gave prominence to the claims of risks to patients will now give equal prominence to this vindication."

Mr. Hague said that Dr. Galler's other findings were also useful, particularly in encouraging greater collaboration by DHBs in the South Island:

"We are already working with other South island DHBs to develop regional services and to strengthen relationships between West Coast and other individual DHBs, but any extra impetus that can be added to those efforts would be greatly appreciated. The problems of clinical sustainability that today face us, will increasingly face all other rural and provincial health services."

Mr. Hague noted that the routine evaluation of the Central Booking Unit (CBU) trial (a development that was at the heart of some of the original claims) is now getting under way, as planned, and that Dr. Galler had made some helpful suggestions about the evaluation process. He said that not all commentators had understood that a trial was taking place and that an evaluation would provide opportunity to objectively measure whether the CBU had increased patient safety, and for everyone to have a say.

Mr. Hague also noted that in the discussion following Dr. Galler's report there had been mention of a large number of "lost referrals", and some had assumed these were associated with the introduction of the CBU trial.

"In fact it was the discovery of these incorrectly processed referrals in the old system that led us to implement the trial with urgency. The CBU is in place specifically to prevent this type of problem."

Working through the last of these referrals is now almost complete.

Read Dr. Galler's Report

For more information please contact

Bryan Jamieson
Community Liaison Officer
West Coast DHB
PO Box 387
Greymouth 7840
Phone (DDI): (03) 769-7665
Mobile: 027 245-9595
Email: This is not a link as we want to prevent spam.  Please transfer the email address on the image carefully into your email client before sending the email.  You might find, with some older email addresses on this site that they are no longer current, for staff-change reasons.  If your email bounces back please contact the WCDHB Communications Team - see Contacts section of this site.

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