Vic health service under investigation
A regional Victorian health service “let go” up to 10 staff, saying a lack of communication in its surgical unit could have put patients at risk.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday that the Central Gippsland Health Service is being investigated over its organisational culture amid allegations of bullying and harassment.
The health service says a lack of communication in its surgical unit “potentially became a clinical risk” adding that bad behaviour among staff would not be tolerated.
“These behaviours aren’t rife, but when they bring such risk you have to deal with it,” chief executive Frank Evans told AAP on Tuesday.
“The separations we’ve had, where staff have had to be let go, in every case it’s been determined (by the Fair Work Ombudsman or the courts) that we’ve done the right thing.”
Up to 10 staff have left “over the past number of years”, including one surgeon after a review by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and another for an undisclosed reason, Dr Evans said.
The health department on Tuesday said the review will begin immediately.
“While the latest staff survey has shown improvements in a number of categories, it has been jointly agreed with Central Gippsland Health Service for an independent review of these concerns,” a department spokesman said in a statement.
Dr Evans said the organisation will not tolerate behaviour that puts patients and staff at risk, which is why they intervened.
“We do not take such serious action as we have unless we have no other option,” he added.
“We’ve taken action that is expected of us. If we hadn’t and something went wrong, we would be the people in the paper, the same as Bacchus Marsh.”
He insists he’d rather be having this debate than apologising for not acting and said he welcomes the review, believing the health service has good processes and systems in place.
Two reviews into Djerriwarrh Health Service found 11 babies died potentially avoidable deaths at Bacchus Marsh between 2001 and 2014, triggering a massive overhaul of the state’s health system