Our latest news

SIWDH puts out regular updates on its activities.  Check out our recent developments here:


Using evidence to inform care means we care

Kate Rawlings, South Island Workforce Development Hub Programme Director, and Dr Anne Dabrow Woods, Chief Nurse, Health, Learning, Research and Practice, Wolters Kluwer

A nurse for over 34 years and a board-certified nurse practitioner since 1998, Dr Anne Dabrow Woods is still inspired today by what inspired her at the start of her career – the art of nursing. Dr Woods is Chief Nurse of the Health, Learning, Research and Practice division of Wolters Kluwer. She visited New Zealand from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this month to talk about the importance of using evidence to inform nursing practice.

Caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable is what lies at the heart of nursing, says Dr Woods. “It is our duty to provide patients with the best possible care and to do that we need to use the best available evidence, accessible when and where we need it. It’s a balance between evidence-based research, clinical expertise and patient preference. When we get the balance right, we get the best outcomes for our patients.”

Using real-life examples and staying firmly focused on the patient, Dr Woods talked about the importance of being able to access the right information at the right time. “We have to admit that we can’t possibly know it all. We need to look things up, but time is always an issue. We need access to information at the point of care, when we may only have 30 seconds to a few minutes to get what we need. We also need information for reference when we might have 20 minutes to spare between taking care of our patients, and we need information for learning when we have bigger chunks of time to focus on professional development.”

Dr Woods still practises on the weekends as an acute care nurse practitioner at Penn Medicine, Chester County Hospital – as well as speaking globally on a variety of clinical topics. Hosted here by the South Island Workforce Development Hub and Midland Region, she presented to nurses and other health care providers from across New Zealand. In conjunction with Dr Woods’ visit, representatives from Wolters Kluwer were also here to produce a video case study about the New Zealand Instance of Lippincott, which will be made available as soon as it is released.

More information about the New Zealand Instance of Lippincott Procedures.

[1] Wolters Kluwer is a global information company that produces and publishes Lippincott journals, practice and education books, information and software products, products from the Joanna Briggs institute, Lippincott, Lippincott Solutions, Ovid Technologies, and UpToDate.



South Island Clinical Simulation update

A group of enthusiastic clinicians from across the South Island are working collaboratively to support inter-discipline and inter-organisational simulation-based learning, that is accessible to all health professionals across the South Island, irrespective of size, specialty or location. Our aim is to develop and support a simulation based learning framework that would enable South Island healthcare staff to train together, in their own environments. Read more about their work here.


SIWDH February 2018 Update
SIWDH February 2016 Update


For earlier updates see below:

SIRTH December 2014 Update

SIRTH May 2014 Update

SIRTH October 2013 Update

SIRTH July 2013 Update

SIRTH March 2013 Update

SIRTH December 2012 Update


GAP (Gerontology Acceleration Programme)

The formal evaluation of the GAP programme has now been completed and is available here.


GAP Toolkit released

This toolkit has been developed to assist organisations wanting to implement a specialty specific nursing development programme targeted at mid-career nurses.

The content of this toolkit has been developed by nursing leadership in Canterbury District Health Board as a result of the successful implementation of the Gerontology Acceleration Programme (GAP). This programme was specific to nurses working in aged care but senior nursing leaders recognised that this concept could fit other specialties of nursing and that the organisation and governance of such a programme would be similar irrespective of specialty. The resources in this toolkit have been developed through the experience of implementing the GAP and are for you to use and adapt to the needs of your programme. We do ask that you acknowledge the source of the documents in your work.

If the aim of strengthening the nursing workforce and quality of care is to be realised with pace and scale, an integrated approach is required with the Ministry of Health working in collaboration with District Health Boards (DHBs) and the community partners on plans to improve nursing leadership, co-ordination and integration of care, mentorship, and education opportunities in nursing.

The nursing workforce accelerated programme focuses on enhancing the career development for Registered Nurses working within a specialty across the health care continuum by providing a different range of professional development opportunities.   Participants access a variety of clinical settings to gain an in-depth inter-service understanding, while expanding their networks (Aged Residential Care Workshop Report April, 2012).

The programme has four components:

  1. Clinical experience through the rotations in two pre-selected specialty focussed clinical areas. Feedback has supported two, twelve week rotations.
  2. Generic programme expectations with mentor support.
  3. Postgraduate nursing education as determined by the governance group (qualification to be eligible for HWNZ funding from DHB PG nursing contract).
  4. Professional Development Recognition Programme (PDRP) participation.

To view a copy of the toolkit click here

If you would like a word version please contact Kath Goodyear, Project Facilitator, SIWDH at kathryn.goodyear@siapo.health.nz


Workforce reports - Adult mental health and addiction services

Information on the Vote Health funded adult mental health and addiction services workforce is now available at regional and DHB district levels.

The regional and DHB district reports give a summary of the results from the 2014 More than numbers organisational workforce survey.

These reports look at the workforce within each region or DHB district. They include information on roles, service types, workforce ethnicity, and vacancies. The reports also share information on current and future workforce challenges, knowledge and skill needs, and relationships within and across sectors. These reports are available here

Using the information in these reports will help to improve the quality of workforce planning. For support using these reports please contact your regional workforce planning lead Deirdre Richardson




Sustainable Nursing

In the South Island we know that 67.5% of the nursing workforce is aged 45 or above - this equates to 8151 nurses. The South Island Executive Directors of Nursing have released a position statement in relation to the need to both grow and retain our current nursing workforce and ensure an ongoing commitment by nurses in nursing.

To view the South Island Executive Directors of Nursing Position Statement on Sustaining the South Island Nursing Workforce, click here

The Sustainable Nursing Work group’s aim is to develop strategies that both grow and retain our current nursing workforce that result in ensuring ongoing commitment by nurses in nursing. One of the ways in which we are doing this is to identify nursing champions in our South Island workforce who are inspirational, including:

Sue Dawkins - Nelson Marlborough

Sue is a Nurse Practitioner at the Murchison Health Centre.

Helen Sawyers - West Coast

Helen is a Registered Nurse at Buller Hospital.

Robyn Hulme - Canterbury

Robyn is the Facility Manager at Cashmere View Rest Home and Hospital, Christchurch.

Claire Roelink - Canterbury

Claire is the Clinical Team Coordinator for Specialist Mental Health Services.

Liz Langer - Southern

Liz is a Nurse Practitioner for Mental Health Services for Older People.

Mark Liddy - South Canterbury

Mark is the Clinical Nurse Manager of Paediatrics at Timaru Hospital.


Sustainable Midwifery

South Island Midwifery Leaders have identified a similar issue to nursing for the midwifery workforce. With the average age of midwives in New Zealand in 2013 being 47.4 years, it is important to both grow and retain our current midwifery workforce and ensure an ongoing commitment by midwives to midwifery.  Working alongside the Sustainable Nursing Work group, Midwifery Leaders are also identifying South Island champions who are inspirational. We are pleased to introduce the first of these below:

Anne Atkins

Anne has recently retired following a career that has traversed many different areas of the maternal and child health spectrum.



Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Planning guidelines

Te Pou have released the mental health and addiction workforce planning and forecasting literature review, workforce planning approach and the workforce planning guide. To read more click below:

Mental Health and Addiction Planning and Forecasting literature review

Getting it right - a workforce planning approach

Getting it right - a workforce planning guide