Our People

Northland DHB’s people are its most valuable resource. They support our organisational culture. We engage our employees through positive relationships to foster leadership skills at all levels. Our aim is to recruit, develop and retain a workforce which continues to provide the highest professional levels of health services to the Northland population.

 Profile Type Statistics
 Northland DHB Workforce Total workforce: 2,929 active employees
 Age Female average age: 46.72 years
Male average age: 46.38 years
 Ethnicity Māori: 16.15 percent
Pacific: 2.01 percent
European: 55.2 percent
Asian: 9.56 percent
Other: 3.86 percent
Not stated: 13.22 percent
 Disability Specific data is not currently held for this category. Individuals with disabilities applying for vacancies are given full considerations based on the needs of the position.
 Gender Female: 2,325 employees (79.38 percent)
Male: 604 employees (20.62 percent) 
Leadership, Accountability and Culture

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 at the clinical governance level. This has resulted in a greater number of senior clinical directors at the executive leadership table who together with our primary care leaders shape the strategic direction for the delivery of health care services in Te Tai Tokerau. Clinical leadership forums are established for medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health leaders to develop their roles and support professional development of leadership and management skills. Clinicians are an integral part of the decision making process that drives key projects within the organisation.

Clinical partnership models include:

  • Clinical leadership operating at senior executive level
  • Medical Executive Leadership Team
  • Maternity Governance Group
  • Nursing and Midwifery Executive Leadership Team
  • Scientific, Technical and Allied Health Group.

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 training and development aligns 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.

Achievements in 2016/2017 include:

  • Commitment to clinical leadership has been strengthened by the addition of three Clinical Directors of Innovation & Transformation and the Director of Health Intelligence & Translational Medicine to the Executive Leadership table. Northland DHB’s executive team has more clinicians at the table than any other DHB, facilitating a genuine partnership between clinicians and managers
  • The third annual Northland DHB Leadership Programme was successfully completed in March 2017. Now in its fourth year this is the DHB’s flagship leadership programme and is delivered through 12 half-day modules. To date 77 staff have completed or are currently completing this programme.
  • Northland DHB continued its collaboration with its Northern Region partners to develop a regional approach to:
    • Strengthen clinical leadership and management capability throughout the workforce
    • Grow the capacity and capability of our Māori and Pacific workforce
    • Increase the flexibility of the workforce to manage rising demand
    • Build and align the capability of the workforce to deliver new models of care
    • Optimise the pipeline and improve the sustainability of priority workforces.
  • The Health Round Table staff survey was undertaken in 2017.Survey results provided a guide for future focus to improve staff engagement in the areas of:
    • Safety and Wellbeing
    • Valued and Appreciated
    • Communication and Information Sharing
    • Career Development
    • Management & Leadership.
Recruitment, Selection and Induction

Our aim is to attract, recruit and develop high potential talent to future-proof our service delivery. Partnerships with education providers to promote health careers and strengthen student capability are key to nurturing a high quality entry pipeline. Our strong relationships with the University of Auckland, AUT University and NorthTec continue to provide future opportunities for doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to join the organisation.

Māori are underrepresented in Northland DHB’s workforce comprising just 16.15 percent (473) of the total staff. Northland DHB is committed to encouraging more Māori into health and disability fields. This applies particularly to areas where Māori are under-represented as health professionals and over-represented in their health needs. Our objective to ‘grow our own’ workforce has led to a number of development projects which have been implemented with much 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.

We use robust safety screening processes and values based recruitment to select all staff. Staff are welcomed and inducted to Northland DHB through our ‘Welcome’ employee orientation booklet, Organisation Orientation, and department/team inductions. Pōwhiri or Whakatau guidelines are also available for visitors and new employees.

Achievements in 2016/2017 include:

  • Kia Ora Hauora marketing and promotion of health careers to Māori students has had a significant impact on the number of registrations, up 50 percent (497) from 2015/2016
  • Kia Ora Hauora supported 17 first year tertiary students with a scholarship towards their first year fees. Five Tertiary Student bodies were supported through the “Tertiary Support Grant” which allocates funds to support retention at tertiary level
  • Welcomed 349 new employees through the Northland DHB Organisation Orientation.
Employee Development, Promotion and Exit

We support staff to participate in a variety of internal and external training courses, conferences, workshops and other developmental opportunities, to build capability and support career and personal

development objectives. We provide medical staff with continuing medical education 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. The Learning and Development department continues to provide a range of professional and personal development training opportunities.

Northland has a history of low employee turnover. An online confidential Staff Exit Survey is offered to all departing staff, along with the opportunity for ‘face to face’ exit interviews.

Achievements in 2016/2017 include:

  • Ngā Manukura o Āpōpō – the national Māori nursing and midwifery workforce programme is now in its 14th year. This programme is sponsored by the Director of Nursing and Midwifery of Northland DHB. Through the Nga Manukura o Āpōpō programme and in partnership with the National Māori Hauora Coalition, the ‘Karangahia Te Ata’ video has been developed that calls out for more Māori new graduate nurses to work in primary health care. The video is designed to promote career opportunities within primary health care for Māori nurses, and the importance of this workforce to improve health outcomes for Māori.
  • Northland DHB’s cultural “Engaging Effectively with Māori” quality programme launched in 2016 has been attended by 63 percent of staff. The programme promotes a relationship centred care approach with Māori and their whānau.
  • The Learning & Development Department provided 204 internal course events in 2016/17, with almost 3,000 attendances. Courses included personal development, project management, leadership and communication skills. These courses are also open to Hospice and our PHO 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 development. This supports best practice across Northland DHB and the wider health sector.
  • 2016/17 saw ten laundry staff successfully complete and receive a Level 2 National Certificate in Laundry Processing, while two dental assistants in the Oral Health service successfully achieved the new Level 3 National Certificate in Dental Assisting. Enrolment from the dental service for this certificate continues.
  • Employee voluntary turnover for 2016/17 was 9.95 percent, lower than the average across all DHBs.
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. Specific disabilities are recognised and provided for.

Achievements in 2016/2017 include:

  • Continuing to grow our video conferencing culture with easier and improved access to technology.
  • Connecting teams and individuals (both clinical and administration) with the aim of reducing the need to travel for staff and patients and improving clinical support and education for remote teams in particular.
  • Enhanced remote access to online services to enable staff to connect from home.
Remuneration, Recognition and Conditions

Northland DHB’s workforce is covered primarily by eighteen collective employment agreements. 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 is available for most employee groups.

Achievements in 2016/2017 include:

  • International Nurses Day and International Day of the Midwife was recognised and celebrated with the annual nursing and midwifery awards held in May 2017.
  • On 26 November 2016, the Northland Health and Social Sector Innovation Awards celebrated quality, innovation and integration across the Te Tai Tokerau health and social sectors. Organisers included Northland District Health Board, NorthAble Disability Services, Manaia Health and Te Tai Tokerau PHO.
Harassment and Bullying Prevention

Northland DHB has a zero tolerance to bullying and harassment. Policy, training and support are provided to all staff with clear guidelines outlined in the Managing Unacceptable Behaviour in the Workplace Policy. All current and new managers are required to attend training which supports their ability to recognise, investigate and ameliorate such concerns when they occur.

Achievements in 2016/2017 include:

  • With our union partners we have developed an electronic reporting tool for violence, bullying and harassment to be launched in 2017. The tool provides an improved means to enable reporting, escalation, investigation and resolution of bullying concerns raised by staff.
Safe and Healthy Environment

Northland DHB is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, patients, visitors and other workers.

The new Health & Safety at Work Act came into force in April 2016, requiring a number of changes within Northland DHB’s Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) management system. This included the introduction of new risk management practices, an extension of our duty of care to other workers (non-Northland DHB employees), increased employee participation and consultation, and a new Board OHS governance programme and reporting.
Employee wellness continues to be supported through employee assistance programmes, onsite gyms and swimming pools, healthy eating and smokefree support programmes, retirement planning and mindfulness.

Achievements in 2016/2017 include:

  • Northland DHB is required by legislation and contractual obligations to have effective emergency and corporate risk management systems, and processes in place. Subsequently the role of Emergency and Corporate Risk Manager was established to provide oversight and accountability for emergency planning and corporate risk management across Northland.
  • 80 percent of staff across the four hospitals participated in the flu vaccination programme. This contributed to the health and safety of staff as well as that of our patients and communities.
  • The 2016/17 Health and Safety objectives for the Executive Leadership Team and Board have been achieved.
  • The number of lost time injuries were reduced by 30 percent over 2016/2017 which was partially due to a promotional campaign on moving and handling techniques.
  • Successfully retained Tertiary (the highest) level accreditation in ACC’s Partnership Programme audit.

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