CGHS denies disquiet

CENTRAL Gippsland Health Service has confirmed it is undergoing a senior management restructure.
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The restructure information emerged after the Gippsland Times approached CGHS with claims of forced redundancies across its sites, resignations and clashes between medical staff and management.

An open letter to the local community published in last Tuesday’s Gippsland Times by Sale general surgeon Adrian Aitken, informing locals that his contract with CGHS has not been renewed, prompted calls to the Gippsland Times by people concerned at redundancies, the scope of services provided and staff morale.

CGHS’s decision to not renew Mr Aitkens’ contract is now the subject of legal proceedings initiated by Mr Aitken.

Questions have also arisen over when new CGHS board appointments will be made.

Two of the six board members reached the end of their appointments on June 30, with no announcements on when new board appointments will be made.

Departing board members are accountant and past board member of Gippsland Base Hospital chairman Glenn Stagg and Wellington Shire Council finance manager Lesley Fairhall.

CGHS acting chief executive officer Denise McInnes, who isalso director of nursing, said there appeared to be incorrect or inaccurate information circulating in the local community.

She said the organisation was undergoing a senior management restructure and staff and the union had been communicating about the changes.

“The manager at Maffra campus and the deputy director of nursing have not been sacked, however their positions, as is the case with other affected senior positions, is part of the restructure process,” Ms McInnes said.

“The former director of nursing resigned amicably at Christmas to pursue her own career ambition.

“Only one staff member has been made redundant recently – an administrative position in the engineering department which, because of a new IT system, was surplus to CGHS needs.”

Asked about the hospital’s debt level, Ms McInnes said the CGHS annual report, due to be tabled in October, “would contain open and transparent information on the service’s financial position”.

Ms McInnes confirmed CGHS had not renewed the six month contract of surgeon Dr Aitken.

“The decision has in no way affected the hospital’s ability to provide normal surgical procedures or impacted on current CGHS surgical waiting lists,” she assured.

“All visiting medical officers who work at CGHS are employed on contracts, consistent with standard operational procedure.

“Dr Aitken was placed on a short term contract six months ago following a comprehensive independent review process.”

Ms McInnes said the appointment of CGHS board members was a matter for the Health Department.

At the time of going to press the office of Health Minister David Davis had not provided a response to a question as to when CGHS board appointments would be announced.

*************UPDATE************

LOCALaccountant Glen Stagg hasbeen appointed acting chair of CentralGippsland Health Service’s board followingthe retirement of solicitor JohnSullivan.

The office of Health Minister DavidDavis said this arrangement wouldremain in place until the board determinedthe new chair at its annual generalmeeting in November.

New board member is David Willington.

Wellington Shire Council financemanager Leslie Fairhall and Mr Stagg,who had reached the end of their termson June 30, have been reappointed.Other board members are accountantHelene Booth, experienced nurse LibbyThomson, pharmacist Louise McMahonand Rabobank branch manager TonyAnderson.

Mr Davis’ office said the appointmentswere made at the end of June.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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