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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NEHTA CEO Admits Staff Turnover Is Though the Roof!

At Senate Estimates tonight Mr Peter Fleming admitted staff turnover was 28%-30% per annum and said this was because it was a transition authority!

Said the same rates happened in consulting firms. Actually they usually run at 1/2 that in my experience of consulting firms. A small fib one has to say!

Amazing stuff - it has to be clear the place is utterly toxic for staff! This is confirmed by confirmation - at the same session -that NSW Workcover has indeed been investigating some staff complaints.

I guess they hoped no one would be watching so late at night (about 10:20pm)! Well done Senator Bridget McKenzie (I think) for asking at least a few hard questions!

No wonder Australian e-Health is a mess. The so-called leader can't even care for staff properly.

Also - it is rather a pity that the total time allocated to e-Health has to have been less than 20 minutes. Not really enough!



Anonymous said...

Lucky for them Senator Boyce was not there.

I think I could hear their collective rectums relax.

Anonymous said...

And Peter Fleming was forced to admit that Workcover NSW has investigated NEHTA, though he suggested Workcover only made a brief visit and the matter was dealt with quickly.

The full story is that Workcover investigator Barry Sutcliffe visited NEHTA on two occasions due to concerns about bullying and management's failure to protect staff. He quizzed HR, examined exit interviews, conducted interviews with random staff and ended up issuing NEHTA with a Confirmation of Advice Record
(CAR) notice.

Is this what Peter Fleming means by a 'brief' visit that was 'dealt' with?

Lagrimas de Luna said...

The high staff turnover can be explained thus:

- Nehta is a toxic, closed environment, staffed by paranoid managers
- many of the senior staff do not understand the nuances of health care IT
- the technical staff who actually get to see the specifications (such as the PCEHR) can see it is full of holes, so they want to distance themselves before the truth is revealed to the world.

Nehta is a house of cards, and it is the staff themselves who are blowing down the stairs.

Anonymous said...

Only three questions were asked, and frankly they were only just above tabloid journalism quality. Procurement processes for PCEHR and similar (this was deflected as "we followed a process"), staff bullying question (disgruntled staffer writing to the senator?) and high staff turnover (who cares?).

NEHTA is designing the largest and most rapid eHealth program ever attempted in this county, with absolutely critical parts due before the end of the year. NOBODY seems to think it is going well so far. And with only ten minutes to quiz the CEO, the hard-hitting question that the senators ask is why the place has high staff turnover????

Where are Senator Boyce's questions on notice?

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

The questions on notice will be in the Hansard Transcript when they are answered. This takes weeks to months.

Complaints of bullying and high staff turnover are symptoms of an organisation that may be in considerable trouble. Well run organisations have neither in my experience.


The Shadow said...

As an ex staff member I thought my post (sent at 810am) would be published - I guess you don't accept all comments!

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Never got it - send via e-mail and will post it!


Lagrimas de Luna said...


You are right to posit that Nehta is in considerable trouble. The scale of work required by next July is immense, and cannot be accomplished by anything other than a well-led, highly motivated and content group of people.

Instead of having a dedicated focus on delivery, the architecture office instead comes up with the monstrous work programme for which you posted a diagram on this site a few weeks ago. That work programme requires even more Enterprise Architects than they already have. It is a program of job creation for EAs, ensuring that the senior managers can write "I managed this many EAs" on their CVs. When Nehta is finally abolished, these cockroaches will pop up in the next incarnation of Nehta, or at Qld Health, as bureaucrats tend to do. Does anyone remember HealthConnect? I rest my case. Professional ambition motivates these people, not any genuine interest in delivering value to the community.
I learned some very painful lessons at Nehta about accountability and hostile work environments. If you are bullied, victimised or marginalised there is only one thing to do: RESIGN. If you complain, your managers shuffle their feet and can't maintain eye-contact, the HR department circles the wagons, defending the most blatant bullies. Worksafe is equally impotent, and at least one attempt to bring legal action against Nehta has foundered because the company has the resources to bring the full force of its taxpayer-funded war chest against those it perceives as its enemies.
What we are dealing with here goes well beyond incompetence. Nehta may have started with good intentions, but has become a malevolent organisation, whose leaders dismiss criticism as lunatic raving. The sad irony is that all of the "lunatics" are powerless to derail this train, which will crush its opponents, damage careers, waste taxpayer money, and fail to deliver meaningful benefits to health care.
I exhort the "little people" who are actually doing the work, to heed Monty Python: FLEE !

Anonymous said...

The good leave - the rest are still at NEHTA.

Anonymous said...

Being an ex employee, I got out of there as soon as I could. Have worked for sweatshops who are better places to work! The CEO and entire management needs to be laid off - besides the fact that nehta simply does not have a reason for existing, having wasted tax payers money.