Whanganui and MidCentral alliance growing
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The alliance between Whanganui and MidCentral District Health Boards continues to grow, benefiting both communities, say their respective Board Chairs Kate Joblin and Phil Sunderland.

As part of their 2011/12 annual plans, the two DHBs plan to jointly advance their renal and women’s health services during 2011/12. Other clinical services likely to work more closely together are: Ophthalmology, ENT (ear, nose and throat), cardiology and sexual health.

 “We have taken a progressive approach, with each service exploring how the alliance can best benefit them,” says WDHB Chair Kate Joblin said. “Each service is quite unique. We are deliberately not taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Child health has established a shared network, and urology has arranged for elective services to be provided to Whanganui under contract by MidCentral DHB.”

Another advancement planned for the next 12 months is the establishment of a common nursing professional development framework for specialty areas, with a similar approach for allied health also under development.

Clinical leaders from both DHBs established a clinical forum, led by Regional Director Allied Health, Kim Fry. Facilities engineering and maintenance, biomedical engineering, grounds maintenance, patient and retail food, meals on wheels, dietetic services, cleaning, orderlies, mail and print room operations, security and transport and fleet management are managed under one contract for both DHBs.

And the two DHBs also have a common laundry service provided through Allied Laundry Services Limited. Further alignment of support and back-office functions is expected, although it is likely this will happen on a wider regional basis.

“There is a lot of work being done nationally and regionally to share back-office and support services,” says MidCentral DHB Chair Phil Sunderland. “MidCentral and Whanganui DHBs will use this process to align their services, rather than duplicate efforts locally.”