Our People | Northland DHB

Our People

He whakapapa, he mokopuna, he tamariki, he mātua, he tūpuna. He aha te mea nui. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.

Our people are central to all we do. Our people are what drive our organisational culture. The five organisational Values are what we pride ourselves on. They are the foundation of our culture that we continue to build on.

 Profile Type Statistics
 Northland DHB Workforce Total workforce: 3,368 active employees
 Age Female average age: 46.23 years
Male average age: 45.90 years

Māori                          18.17 percent

Pasifika                       1.34 percent

European                    60.04 percent

Asian                          11.61 percent

Other                          1.51 percent

Not stated                   3.41 percent
 Disability Specific data is not currently held for this category. Individuals with disabilities applying for vacancies are given full consideration based on the needs of the position.
 Gender Female: 2,703 employees (80.26 percent)
Male: 665 employees (19.74 percent) 
Leadership, Accountability and Culture

Northland DHB is committed to meeting its statutory, legal and ethical obligations to be a good employer. We strive to provide an organisational culture that has strong leadership and accountability – where everyone is able to contribute to the way the organisation develops, improves and adapts to change.

Leadership is encouraged and supported at all levels of the organisation. A key focus and priority for the DHB is the engagement between clinical networks, strengthening established partnerships between managers and clinicians across the organisation.

Collaboration across services and occupational groups contributes significantly to staff engagement and innovation as does the DHB’s positive relationship with its union partners. Staff satisfaction and retention is enhanced as staff Wellbeing is further aligned to the Northland DHB Values, organisational compliance requirements, service needs and staff’s own professional development.

Local engagement groups continue to meet regularly and remain integral to maintaining a cooperative working environment. The objective of the groups is to provide a forum for ongoing constructive engagement between Northland DHB and the unions that represent its employees.

Northland DHB has put ‘Achieving Equity' front and centre and has undertaken a number of moves that demonstrate accountability to this kaupapa.

A further commitment by Northland DHB is to its sustainability responsibilities whereby there is continuous focus on reducing carbon emissions from operations.

Achievements in 2019/2020 include:

The Leadership Programme based on the State Services Commission programme continues to be rolled out across the organisation, with 26 leaders and/or engaging in the programme over the last 12 months

A series of programmes have been developed to feed into the ‘achieving equity’ programme of work:

  • A Māori Workforce Affirmative Action Plan designed and developed
  • A position statement on Equity
  • Design and development of an equity tool
  • A position statement from the Board on Institutional Racism
  • A series of community engagement forums across Te Tai Tokerau

A number of initiatives have been put in place to reduce carbon emissions:

  • Our waste to landfill has been reduced by 10% last year
  • Over 150 recycling bins in the hospitals and with some contract changes, 58 tonnes of waste streams are now recycled
  • We now use carbon neutral paper and sugarcane plates and bowls
  • All diesel use for heating has been phased out
  • Carbon emissions from medical gases have reduced significantly, avoiding 2.2 million car km
  • We purchased carbon offsets for our patient flights (first DHB to do so)
  • We have a new electric ATV and more e-bikes.
Recruitment, Selection and Induction

Northland DHB remains committed to supporting more Māori into the health and disability workforce. This applies particularly to areas where Māori are under-represented as health professionals and over- represented in their health needs. Currently Northland DHB’s Māori workforce comprises 18 percent of the total staff; in contrast, Te Tai Tokerau Māori population currently comprise 35 percent. We strive to have a workforce that represents the population we serve.

During 2019-20 the four Objectives of our ten-year Northland Workforce Development Strategy 2019-29 have underpinned our recruitment, selection and induction planning and action. The Objective to grow the capacity and capability of our Māori workforce has been strengthened with the development of an Affirmative Action Plan. The Workforce Equity Manager, who started in the third quarter of 2019, is in the process of implementing the newly developed Affirmative Action Plan. The Plan is organised around three themes, those of:

  • Grow and Develop (To deliver, invest in and/or partner with education providers)
  • Recruit and Select (To increase the proportion of the Māori Health Workforce in Northland to at least match the working age percentage of Māori in Northland)
  • Retain and Develop (To support, grow and strengthen Māori strategic and operational leadership across the DHB).

Our ‘grow our own’ workforce theme has led to a number of development projects which have been implemented with great success. Northland DHB holds the regional hub contract for Kia Ora Hauora. This was established to increase the number of Māori entering first-year tertiary study, and to recruit and retain Māori in health-related career pathways and into the health sector workforce.

Our Recruit and Select theme has led to the development of specialised staff affirmative action training and support. An all of staff online Achieving Equity under Te Tiriti o Waitangi Module and a follow on Achieving Equity under Te Tiriti o Waitangi Workshop for hiring managers has been designed and developed for delivery 2020/21.

Our Retain and Develop theme focuses on staff development includes the Healthcare Assistant NCEA and Enrolled Nursing programme.

The attract, recruit and develop a talented workforce strategic Objective underpins our commitment to future proofing our service delivery. Engagement with NeonLogic, our agency partners, led to the development of Employer Value Propositions to help us attract and retain high quality employees.

Our longstanding arrangement with the University of Auckland saw another cohort of 24x Year 5 medical students progress through our Pukawakawa programme. Students experience a noho marae where they have the opportunity to gain understanding of Te Ao Māori perspectives of health and wellbeing and an opportunity to gather tools to support effective engagement with Māori One of the aims of this programme is to encourage students to start their careers in Te Tai Tokerau regional and rural centres.

Achievements in 2019-20 include:

Appointment of the Workforce Equity Manager to:

  • Rollout the Māori Workforce Affirmative Action Plan
  • Direct service managers/hiring managers on an affirmative action process for recruitment and selection of cultural and technically competent staff
  • Lead and contribute, alongside other stakeholders, to review and advise managers on their recruitment and retention strategies
  • Direct and influence the organisation’s results on growing Māori workforce within the DHB
  • Advise on the strategic direction of the organisation’s commitment to eliminating inequities
  • Use Tikanga based recruitment strategies that best support Māori workforce

Grow and Develop:

  • Promote Health Careers and Recruit to Kia Ora Hauora
    • As at June 2020, we have 1,273 members in the northern region
    • New registrations between July 19 & Jun 20 = 487
    • Secondary Career Roadshows
    • Tertiary Career Expos
    • Community events
  • Support Science Achievement
    • 253 Secondary school students actively supported between July 2019-Jun 2020
    • 121 transitioned from secondary to tertiary (target 40)
    • STAH (Allied Health) Forum (NDHB)
    • Ngāti Whātua Tertiary Summit Expo Dinner and Stall (Auckland)
    • Science for Hauora (Massey Uni)
    • MAPAS mixed mini Interviews (UoA)
    • See the Solutions – Online Science & Maths
  • Support Tertiary Success
    • 2,133 Tertiary students actively supported between July 2019-June 2020
  • Retention is measured by transition across 2nd year through to final As at Dec 2019, 344 tertiary students were represented from Year 2-final year
  • Success is measured on qualification (TBC)
  • MoH - Hauora Māori Scholarship Workshops
  • NZNO Conference
  • Study to Mahi
  • AUT Connections Event
  • Tertiary Support Grants
  • Pihirau Scholarship
  • Tertiary Support Packages
  • Manaaki Pack – Tertiary Engagement
  • UoA, Careers Workshop
  • MAPAS (UoA) Completion Ceremony
  • NorthTec Powhiri & Whakawatea
  • Basic Life Support Training-Nurses.
  • Support Tertiary Success
    • 18 x $1,000.00 grants provided to final year students to reduce barriers for transitioning to practice
    • 68 transitioned to employment (target 40)
    • 16 x Māori Midwives
    • 2 x Nurses
  • Delivering results
    • Sponsorship grants provided to Māori professional bodies –Hui-A-Tau
  • Kia Ora Hauora Regional reference group – representative of tertiary institutions in the northern region
  • Northland DHB Nursing Workforce Development Group
  • Auckland Metro workforce development groups across the three

Northland DHB Organisation Orientation has welcomed 399 new employees this year. During COVID-19, face-to-face welcome was unable to occur, therefore an online learning course was designed, developed and implemented. From April 2020, 81 new employees completed this “virtual” welcome.

Employee Development, Promotion and Exit

Northland DHB recognises that achieving equity within the New Zealand health system is a priority. We require our workforce to be mindful of this. Evidence shows patient outcomes improve when they are treated with a higher level of cultural safety, and cared for by a skilled workforce that reflects the community we serve. Te Kaupapa Whakaruruhau / The Māori Health Cultural Quality Programme provide opportunities to gain cultural competencies. Northland DHB has also committed to implementing an equity lens over the organisational onsite training.

Northland DHB has a comprehensive onsite and online training programme which staff are encouraged to take advantage of. External training courses, conferences and workshops are also available to build capability and support career and personal development objectives.

We provide medical staff with continuing medical education (CME) support and nursing and midwifery staff with professional development recognition programmes. Health Workforce NZ funding continues to be provided for postgraduate study for nursing and midwifery and the non-regulated workforce.

Northland DHB’s turnover has reduced from 11.3 percent to 9.9 percent. The national average is 11.0 percent. An online confidential Staff Exit Survey is offered to all department staff, along with the opportunity for ‘face to face’ exit interviews.

Achievements in 2019/2020 include: 

  • A‘first 30 day’survey was designed and developed to ascertain new employees' on-boarding experience
  • 52 internal organisational course events in 2019/20 were provided, seeing 2,824 overall Courses included cultural, leadership and communication skills. These courses are also open to Hospice and our Mahitahi Hauora Primary Care Entity partners
  • e-learning development and implementation continued to enable greater access to our primary healthcare and community partners to share learning, communication, knowledge transfer and skill This supports best practice across Northland DHB and the wider health sector
  • 52 e-learning courses specifically for the Northland workforce, these range from clinical and non-clinical. With 12,106 completions over the last 12 The Northland workforce has wider access to other DHB e-learning courses within the Ko Awatea network
  • The registered nursing graduate programmes (NETP & NESP) support the transition of new graduates in their first year of practice. The aim of the programmes is to improve the recruitment and retention of new graduates into the workforce, with a focus to ‘grow our own’ and increase the Māori Nursing workforce. Recruitment of new graduate nurses align with the national Advance Choice Employment (ACE) recruitment process, of which 90% of applicants are employed (ACE report, 2020)
  • Northland employed 94% of nursing applicants into their new graduate programmes
  • There was a total 56 people across both programmes with 30% identifying as Māori
  • The Nursing & Midwifery Directorate works in a collaborative manner with the local nursing school and Kia Ora Hauora looking at the pipeline development, nursing workforce demands, whilst applying an equity lens for Māori students
  • The 18 month Enrolled Nursing Diploma commenced at the beginning of the year with demand for the course to include a second intake in Newly graduated enrolled nurses will participate in the Enrolled Nurse Support Into practice (ENSIP) programme and seek recruitment into employment through ACE
  • Ngā Manukura o Āpōpō – the national Māori nursing and midwifery workforce programme is now in its 17th This programme is sponsored by the Northland DHB Acting Director of Nursing and Midwifery and in partnership with the National Māori Hauora Coalition
  • The Post graduate funding was distributed across the primary and secondary health sectors with the aim to support completion of qualifications, Nurse Prescribing and Practitioner pathways and funding for Māori
    • Three papers were delivered locally here in Whangarei with the view to add Māori and rural focus papers by 2022
    • The Covid-19 pandemic provided some challenging issues, as well as the absence of the post graduate coordinator at that time
    • Face to face class room study days were replaced with Zoom teaching sessions and online exams
    • A small increase in withdrawals was seen in the first semester 2020 directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic, due to increasing workplace demands; however, a 100% pass rate was achieved of those who continued to study during that time
    • A new post graduate coordinator has been appointed
  • Northland DHB continue to support the Health Care Assistant NZQA Certificate in Health & Wellbeing Level 3
    • To date 77 participants have enrolled and completed with 100% pass rate
    • 35% identified as Māori
  • In 2019/20 a further three staff members were in receipt of the JRBM scholarship fund which was set up in 2018/19. This fund was established to support and encourage tertiary health studies for internal staff working in the unregulated workforce
  • The average length of service at Northland DHB is 8 years.
Flexibility and Work Design

Northland DHB operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing full-time and part-time opportunities. Flexible work hours based on employee needs and the requirements of the position are available. Any specific impairment is recognised and is suitably provided for where possible.

Northland DHB has fostered an environment where our key partners can evolve the development of a primary care health system across Northland that eliminates health inequities for Māori, promotes wellbeing and self-determination, provides value to the system and measures success through achieving population outcomes across a health and social care spectrum.

Northland DHB continues to be committed to a holistic primary- secondary partnership. This includes working closely with the Primary Health Entity Mahitahi Hauora which was formed from representatives of the previous Primary Health Organisation boards as well as community and iwi representatives and the DHB Chief Executive as a non-voting member.

The national COVID-19 Alert Level in March saw the DHB, amongst many other health organisations, move into an Incident Management phase. During this phase many services were either established or enhanced in order to support the wellbeing of our workforce and community. A working group was tasked with resource planning in order to create a pool to deploy within the organisation or to external facilities such as Aged Residential Care. This was multifaceted and included a call out to our community via Expressions of Interest to the public on our Northland DHB website. There was a good response across all workforces from nursing, allied health, support and administration.

Achievements in 2019/2020 include:

  • An application to identify staff availability and ‘hidden’ competencies across the The Staff Deployment team was developed to support surge requests, providing our Integrated Operations Centre (IOC) and Incident Management Team with real-time access to availability and competencies
  • The application included contractors' and volunteers' details
  • Provides ongoing planning support for future pandemic surges, winter requirements and/or local disasters
  • The Calderdale Framework has been introduced across Northland DHB with nine clinicians across Allied Health completing the Calderdale Framework Facilitator training
  • The Calderdale Framework is a clinically led workforce development tool to facilitate a ‘best for patient, best for system’ It provides a delegation model for assistants and other support workers, and a workforce model for skill sharing across professions in the team
  • Zoom use has increased dramatically during March COVID and is now well established as the preferred video communications tool for clinical use, team communications and remote working
  • A Telehealth policy was developed in collaboration with the Northern Region Guidelines for outpatient clinics have been developed for clinicians and booking clerks
  • A new mobile RITA (Rapid Information Telehealth Assessment) unit was provided for Rawene hospital which links in with the wider RITA network linking the rural hospitals to Whangarei We have also been working with the Department of Corrections to introduce RITA in the Ngāwhā Corrections Facility before the end of 2020
  • Two new types of Primary Care led Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting have been Te Mahuri which is a child health focused multi-disciplinary and multi support provider meeting, and GP Review Clinics which are a GP to specialist case review format have been successfully piloted and are now transitioning to business as usual. 
Remuneration, Recognition and Conditions

Northland DHB adheres to the good employer requirements in section 118 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 which covers:

  • Good and safe working conditions
  • An equal employment opportunities programme
  • The impartial selection of suitably qualified persons for appointment
  • Recognition within the workplace of the aspirations and needs of Māori, other ethnic or minority groups, women and people with disabilities and/or impairments. 

The concept of the ‘good employer’ is bound up with the principles of natural justice and requires employment procedures to be ‘fair in all circumstances’. Northland DHB recognises that all individuals and groups should have opportunities without barriers or biases.

Northland DHB’s workforce is covered by 22 collective employment agreements. This increased from 21 in previous years with First Union now included which covers the Renal Driver workforce.

A smaller proportion of staff are on individual employment agreements. Transparent job  evaluation  criteria,  developed in consultation with relevant unions, are in place for a range of employee groups. This includes specific merit programme criteria which are available for most employee groups.

Achievements in 2019/2020 include:   

  • International Nurses Day and International Day of the Midwife was recognised and celebrated in May 2020 with care packages being distributed throughout the
Harassment and Bullying Prevention

Northland DHB’s zero tolerance to bullying and harassment is reinforced by policy, training and support, which are provided to all staff with clear guidelines outlined in the Managing Unacceptable Behaviour in the Workplace Policy.

Achievements in 2019/2020 include:

The ‘DATIX’ electronic reporting tool continues to be the vehicle for reporting incidents of alleged violence, bullying and harassment. We have continued engagement with our union partners to refine and increase confidence in the tools and process to ensure that all employees are safely able to raise concerns.

Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Northland DHB is committed to providing a culturally and physically safe and healthy workplace for all employees, patients, whānau, visitors and other workers. The organisation is required by legislation and contractual obligations to have effective emergency and corporate risk management systems and processes in place.

In 2019/20 Northland DHB incorporated ‘Wellbeing’ into the organisational Values as the organisations seeks to improve work life in addition to the traditional aims of enhancing patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs.

Achievements in 2019/2020 include: 

  • Reducing the number of Lost Time Injuries continues to be a focus for the The number of lost time injuries for 2019/20 was 39. The frequency rate (8.3) remains significantly below the national (10.4), northern region (11.3) and medium sized (12.0) DHB average benchmarks
  • Northland DHB commenced using Safe365, an online tool that provides the ability to continuously assess, improve and monitor workplace health, safety and wellbeing capability, culture, performance and engagement
  • Northland DHB adopted the Protective Security Requirements (PSR) framework to improve security governance and personnel and physical security. An independent security review was undertaken in March and a programme of work established based on a set of recommendations. A new Steering Group has been established to oversee the work programme and performance against the PSR framework
  • 78 percent of staff from across all our hospitals and worksites vaccinated against seasonal This uptake was key in managing Influenza disease and in controlling its spread to patients and within our community
  • Recruited and trained over 60 in-team vaccinators
  • The 2019/20 Health and Safety objectives for the Executive Leadership Team and Board were achieved
  • ACC Partnership programme achieved ACC Accreditation Tertiary Level 2019-2020
  • The organisation contracted WorkAon in November 2019 to manage all the Northland DHB Injury Management claims
  • The organisation continued the pre-employment flow through the COVID-19 period as well as over 200 vulnerable worker COVID-19 assessments and well as assisting the Nursing and Midwifery Directorate to process and assess COVID-19 response staff
  • In 2019/20 Northland DHB was the first DHB to subscribe to the Mayo Clinic Wellbeing The Index provides strategies to promote staff wellbeing. It supports shared responsibilities between employee and employer. It cultivates a productive solution of awareness, engagement and resources
  • Senior Medical Officers have displayed high engagement with the index since it was rolled out to this workforce in February 2020
  • Nursing & Midwifery, Allied Health, Resident Medical Officers, Support, Management and Admin received their first invite June 2020
  • The Workplace Violence Prevention Advisory Group has strengthened in their commitment over the last 12 months to eliminate workplace violence and support staff A Workplace Violence Prevention based on the organisational Values was adopted including:
  • The Workplace Violence Prevention (WVP) Framework supports the embedding of the organisational values within the WVP Programme alongside highlighting key focus areas and recommendations
  • While the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions have caused some limitations with the roll out of the CALM - Workplace Violence Is Not OK workshops which focus on effective communication as a key de-escalation tool and the importance of reporting workplace violence; there has been good participation from clinical and non-clinical staff
  • The Calm Course has seen eight events over the last 12 months
  • 67 staff have attended
  • An online introduction to CALM Communications has had 244 completions
    • The Emergency Department (ED) Whangarei Hospital Staff WVP Pilot project took place over a six month period in 2019 and prioritised supporting ED staff in developing their WVP plan based on their experience of the levels of workplace violence in ED, in particular physical and verbal aggression
    • The WVP communication plan has been developed and highlights the organisational values and reiterates the ‘Workplace Violence It’s Not OK’ theme throughout the messaging
    • A Workplace Violence Reflection & Review tool has been developed to support managers to review workplace violence related adverse events
    • A Workplace Violence Risk Assessment & Analysis (Audit) tool with generic controls has been trialed and adapted for use in the Northland DHB

    In June 2020 Northland DHB chose to mark Matariki week with an inaugural week-long selection of celebrations and events.

    Northland DHB’s Values were an integral part in developing these initiatives during the Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown:

    • A wide range of self-help resources
    • Consistent wellbeing messages
    • Various immediate access to phone, face to face and online support
    • Access to brief psychological interventions
    • Accommodation for staff
    • COVID-19 Debrief and Recovery

    All of the above was determined collaboratively by a representative of the workforce in a pre-COVID-19 lockdown hui.

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