Auck­land DHB staff feel over-worked

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SHAB­NAM DASTGHEIB

A hos­pi­tal is nor­mally a place to get healthy, but many who work at Auck­land Dis­trict Health Board say their well­be­ing is suf­fer­ing be­cause of their job.

In a sur­vey of more than 5600 staff - 57 per cent of the DHB work­force - many re­spon­dents re­vealed they were feel­ing rushed and over-worked.

Forty per cent of staff said their health and well­be­ing had suf­fered be­cause of their work.

The same per­cent­age said their health hadn’t suf­fered, while the rest re­mained neu­tral.

Also, 35 per cent of re­spon­dents said they did not have enough time to com­plete their work.

Fewer than half of those sur­veyed said they felt val­ued, ap­pre­ci­ated or proud.

The full sur­vey re­sults were not pub­licly avail­able but the DHB con­firmed num­bers and re­sults from re­spon­dents.

As­so­ci­a­tion of Salaried Med­i­cal Spe­cial­ists ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ian Pow­ell said the re­sults were not sur­pris­ing and not unique to Auck­land hos­pi­tals.

‘‘DHBs in rel­a­tive terms have been un­der­funded by at least $1.5 bil­lion since 2010 while de­mands on our public hos­pi­tals in par­tic­u­lar have in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly due to fac­tors such as a growing pop­u­la­tion, an age­ing pop­u­la­tion and in­creased poverty lead­ing to in­creased ill-health such as chronic ill­nesses in com­mu­ni­ties.’’

He said this had placed con­sid­ered pres­sure on an over­stretched work­force.

A sur­vey of hos­pi­tal spe­cial­ists re­vealed 50 per cent of re­spon­dents re­ported burnout, Pow­ell said.

‘‘It means for ex­am­ple there is around a 50 per cent chance that a patient be­ing op­er­ated [on] will have a burnt-out surgeon do­ing the op­er­a­tion, anaes­thetist han­dling their pain man­age­ment, and ra­di­ol­o­gist and pathol­o­gist pro­vid­ing the di­ag­no­sis needed by the surgeon.’’

There were also pos­i­tive re­sponses to the sur­vey.

Three-quar­ters of re­spon­dents said they felt con­fi­dent, 66 per cent felt in­volved, and 65 per cent felt mo­ti­vated.

Seventy per cent of em­ploy­ees said they were happy with their job and 88 per cent said they would rec­om­mend the DHB as a place to be treated.

Auck­land DHB chief hu­man resources of­fi­cer Fiona Michel said the sur­vey showed high lev­els of en­gage­ment.

123RF

A sur­vey of hos­pi­tal spe­cial­ists re­vealed 50 per cent of re­spon­dents re­ported burnout.

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