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What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?

Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods.

“The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative deficit of $75 million in the next five to six years,” Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says.

“It has an ageing IT system, poorly maintained facilities and growing demand for its services.

“Now information obtained under the Official Information Act reveals it also uses 19th century methods to track clinicians’ holidays.

“And not only does it not have a system to electronically record their leave applications, it also doesn’t hold electronic data on which clinical staff might be applying for offsite professional development.

 “Recording that information allows an organisation to keep track of how much leave is owed, whether leave is being declined or cancelled for whatever reasons, and who is receiving external training.

"Tracking leave lets an employer know who might be overworked, something that in this situation can lead to serious mistakes and is part of a sensible policy to ensure clinicians are fit for work.

“A lack of simple record keeping in the modern age beggars belief.

“Let’s hope they can still access the relevant records. Rumour has it, however, the paper files may be lost in the same back room as their wayward abacus,” David Clark says.