Tēnā koutou e ngā kaimahi,
I want to start by acknowledging our teams in Starship this week. No doubt many of you are aware of the complex situation faced by the team, in the case of a baby needing urgent surgery and our action to make medical decisions on behalf of the baby. Our system relies on users of our services to engage, partner, consent, and ideally make their own decisions in taking up care. We mostly ‘offer’ care. There are very few situations where we may legally take over decision-making for people who are unable to make decisions for themselves (e.g. mental health, children, older people). These are decisions we consider very carefully because the responsibility is significant and they are normally undertaken with consultation and support of whānau.
Although our teams are very experienced, it is not easy, and it takes a personal toll on our people and those who support them (shout out to Police!). I understand the Te Toka Tumai team is still facing some challenging feedback from whānau supporters. I thank you for your professionalism and continued focus on caring for patients and their whānau. Ngā mihi nui ki a koe (huge gratitude) to you all.
This week we applied to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to pay our nursing workforce the equity rates that were agreed with unions (backdated to 7 March 2022). We are optimistic that the ERA will approve this, and we will aim to have this paid out within six-to-eight weeks after the decision. This does not end the unions legal claims, but it is a start, while we wait for ERA and Employment Court claims to be fully considered. Given that the Government has provided funding and we had agreed on rates, it is important that we progress with what was agreed. These changes put us on par or better with some Australian states. You can see this on our website. Thank you for your patience, team.
Last week was International Volunteers Day, a chance to recognise the volunteers across the motu who support our patients and whānau in so many ways. To our many volunteers giving their time so generously, demonstrating whakawhanaungatanga to people throughout Aotearoa – thank you for all that you do.
I’ve now read all your feedback on the Unify to Simplify consultation. More than 1,800 people registered and 563 people responded, providing more than 1,344 pieces of feedback and questions. Thank you again to those who took the time to provide such considered and thoughtful feedback and attended the webinars with senior leaders to discuss what is possible. This is an important and complex change, so it’s crucial to hear from as many of you as possible. I aim to release the decision document at the end of this week. It will be available on your local intranets, and I’ll be holding a hui on Thursday for those directly impacted.
I’ll share more next week, including a roadmap of how the years ahead are shaping up and some of the key milestones to help us deliver Pae ora, healthy futures for all New Zealanders. I’ll also share the national leadership roster of cover for the break.
Please support the ‘Safe-As Summer’ campaign and promote to your whānau and communities to prepare and plan for their holidays – in particular, what to do if they find themselves with COVID-19 and need to isolate.
Finally, I’d like to remind you that the Ngātahitanga Pulse Survey is now open until Friday, so it’s not too late to have your say. So far more than 21,000 of you have completed the survey. It takes less than five minutes and it’s important we hear from people right across the organisation, so please take some time to do this before Friday.
Noho ora mai,
Margie Apa - Chief Executive, Te Whatu Ora