11 Jul 2011

Dunedin Hospital admits major changes needed

8:08 pm on 11 July 2011

Dunedin Hospital chiefs admit major changes will have to be made to improve services for patients.

The South Island hospital is already under intense government scrutiny for a wide-range of problems to do with the delivery of services.

The Southern District Health Board released a report on Monday calling for sweeping changes at the hospital.

The highly critical strategic plan was prepared by a group led by the DHB's Dunedin chief operating officer Vivian Blake.

It says the debt-plagued hospital has struggled for years, failing to invest in its buildings - which are now seriously run-down - and keeping patients waiting too long for emergency and other treatment.

The report says 30% of patients routinely spend more than six hours in the Emergency Department and others may be left waiting for up to five days in a ward for a scan.

The DHB says improvements are needed and the deficit will have to rise to fund them.

A separate joint government review on hospital services in Dunedin is due to be released in August.