New group head to of­fer clin­i­cal voice

Otago Daily Times - - DUNEDIN - MIKE HOULAHAN Health re­porter

JOHN Adams’ job is to bring a clin­i­cal voice to the de­sign of the new Dunedin Hos­pi­tal, but that is not the only voice con­cern­ing him.

‘‘What we don’t want for the fu­ture is a fa­cil­ity which . . . gets in the way of good care. The pa­tient needs to be at the cen­tre of the pic­ture and then we can build ser­vices and mod­els of care around what is best for pa­tients.’’

Dr Adams, as­so­ci­ate dean of stu­dent af­fairs at the Uni­ver­sity of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine, is a psy­chi­a­trist, and the for­mer chair­man of the New Zealand Med­i­cal Coun­cil.

He suc­ceeds Dr David Perez as chair­man of the Clin­i­cal Lead­er­ship Group — a body set up so hos­pi­tal staff could have a say in the way their fu­ture work­place looked and op­er­ated.

‘‘It found me more than I found it, but I am pleased and very ex­cited about be­ing asked to do this,’’ Dr Adams said.

‘‘I am very pleased to be able to make a con­tri­bu­tion to what is a once in a gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity in terms of health ser­vices in Dunedin.’’

This is not the first Dunedin hos­pi­tal re­build Dr Adams has seen — he trained at Wakari and in the old Dunedin Hos­pi­tal, be­fore the cur­rent ward block was built.

The new hos­pi­tal was a ma­jor project for the city and re­gion as well as the health sec­tor, he said.

‘‘Part of my job is to be able to lis­ten to and fa­cil­i­tate the clin­i­cal voice and con­vey that to the man­age­ment of the DHB and the part­ner­ship group and the plan­ners.

‘‘There will be all kinds of re­ally im­por­tant opin­ions on how the hos­pi­tal func­tions now, how it is pre­dicted to func­tion in the fu­ture, and how the new de­sign can fa­cil­i­tate those al­ready chang­ing mod­els of care.’’

It was hard to pre­dict what health­care would look like in 10 years time — when the new hos­pi­tal should be open — let alone in 40 years, he said. But clin­i­cians could help make sure the new build­ing was flex­i­ble enough to adapt to change.

The group’s new deputy chair­woman, Dr Carol At­more, was in­volved with hos­pi­tal re­builds in a previous job as chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer of West Coast DHB.

A Dunedin GP, she is also chair­woman of the Al­liance Lead­er­ship Team of Al­liance South, which is over­see­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SDHB/Wel­lSouth pri­mary and com­mu­nity care strat­egy.

John Adams

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