Two important developments to report.

First, the good news. Shaun Robinson has resigned as CEO of Presbyterian support “to pursue other opportunities in strategic management.” But this is only the first of management changes required at Cranford.

However, at Cranford the focus is on firing nurses.

And which nurses were informed they were no longer needed yesterday?

Despite the restructuring document suggesting that the nursing staff would be decreased to 26 FTE from 27.5 FTE (i.e. about 3 part time positions), in fact, of 38 nurses, fourteen lost their jobs and four did not reapply.

The nurses who lost their jobs had all assumed that the four who chose redundancy would account for the 1.5 FTE reduction. Not so.

Included in the fourteen terminated were both union reps and 9 of the 12 nurses involved in a letter addressed to Cranford executive director Barry Keane last year raising issues with Cranford’s management. The letter went forward without signatures and a witch hunt ensued to identify its supporters. Of the ten nurses who admitted to signing the letter, only one has received a job in the new regime.

A remarkable coincidence?! How can anyone looking at this not conclude that those who lost their jobs were simply purged as “squeaky wheels” (and I’ve heard them called worse)?

But to DHB, this represents enlightened “change management.” Says the DHB media release:

“Hawke’s Bay District Health Board chief executive Kevin Snee said he was pleased with the process as no one person on the panel carried any greater weight than any other and each member scored the individual against criteria set out in the job description.

‘It is a very robust employment process which follows best change management protocol to ensure there is fairness and equal opportunity.’”

“…best change management protocol”?!! Yeah, right!

Tom Belford

Join the Conversation


  1. Oh my goodness – Barry Keane what have you done to our hospice and our nurses????

    Dr Snee why does Mr Keane still have a job? Surely it is easier to replace this man than replace 18 of our wonderful hospice nurses.

    It is unbelievable.

    Shame on you Dr Snee for allowing this to happen.

    As for you Barry Keane, how do you sleep at night, being responsible for such a mess??

    Looks to me that following your mate Shaun Robinson, should be your next move – for everyones sake. Take responsibility for the mess you have created.

  2. What has been exposed is described as a remakable coincidence. That is a generous description.

    It is management misusing its power in an orchestrated execise in persecution aimed at front line nursing staff who had the courage to speak out.

    The objective to regain control by engaging staff who will be subservient through fear.

    It is a familiar public enterprise exercise in self preservation of those at the top.

    Our antiquated system of goverance is riddled

    with appointed tails wagging the dog with layperson members ineffective in keeping the dogs under control.

    Nothing will change untill the system of goverance is. Most are appendages to senior members who are in cahoots with the dog

  3. TAS Report page 44 point 4 –

    “The nursing workforce, while experienced, has limited post graduate qualifications in palliative care. For Cranford hospice to become an effective specialist palliative care service, the nursing team should have a high skill level.”

    Why then have so many skilled, experienced nurses, many with post grad quailifications been made redundant?

    A huge loss to palliative care in the Bay.

  4. Mr Snee, how can you reopen Cranford hospice within 6 months, as the press release in the HB Today states, if 18 nurses have been made redundant?

    Something is not right here.

    I echoe what has been said before, surely ridding Cranford of current management is a better solution than making nurses redundant – how much is this going to cost? Where is the money coming from?

    Surely if nurses have raised issues with management, they deserved to be listened to, whether there is merit in the complaint or not.

    As a member of the community and only reading articles in the paper and Baybuzz – it seems obvious to me, get a manager that can manage!

  5. Is it coincidence then that the Nursing Director from the Hospice was seen lunching with the Community DON from the DHB perusing lists prior to the interview panel?!

  6. The Hawke's Bay community owe a huge debt of gratitude to many individuals who have contributed to exposing the callous and flawed governance and management of Cranford Hospice.

    Some have worked away quietly in the background, some have stuck their necks out and waited for the ax to fall, others are still working away in the background.

    Without attempting to mention all the key players, for fear of leaving out those I may be unaware of, I would like to thank Tom Belford and BayBuzz for doggedly and with occasional brinkmanship following through on the Cranford conflict. Without the focal point provided by the BayBuzz website we would never have reached the present level of resolution (though we are, like Oliver Twist, still hoping for more).

  7. I agree with what Tina says, but what can we do for the poor nurses who are now without their jobs? It is clear from the list of those nurses that kept their jobs, that skills had nothing to do it.

  8. I agree with M Donnison – though it is not only about the nurses. Cranford's Family Support team is next in the firing line (art therapist, social worker, massage therapist and counsellor), as is the education coordinator; the housekeeper is redundant, the cleaners' hours are markedly reduced. And Cranford has already disposed of pharmacists, business manager, reception and admin staff and doctors (NOT including the "new" specialists) and more, all since late 2007. The skill loss, and the reasons for this, are unfathomable.

    Yet Barry Keane and Sandra Sanderson continue to deny that the "team" (or what remains of it) is stressed. This is apparently NOT stress, it is "just people getting emotional".

    It is hard to understand why Dr Snee continues to encourage this wanton and deliberate destruction. Give Cranford back to the people who treasure it – the community of Hawke's Bay.

  9. Keane once said to now deposed staff member that he would 'drag Cranford kicking and screaming into 21st century'.Was this mess that is now Cranford your agenda Mr Keane?Oh sorry I mean VISION?

    I tend to think his agenda/vision may have backfired with great devastation(as HB has now seen) he has disempowered both himself and Director of Nursing as she now has control(for how long?)over a kingdom of 5 nursing/ day( the community nurses) and to progress the required documentation that failed the audit.

    Lesley those 2 incapable of recognising stress, OR other human emotions they are heartless.

    Once you know they were 'Palliative Nurses'.

  10. Joan Swindell makes a very good point, how are you planning on re-opening Cranford Hospice within 6 months if you have just made 18 nurses redundant???

    What is the actual agenda here??

    What has happened to our hospice??

    Why have current management been allowed to continue on this nasty road of destruction??

    What on earth is going on??

  11. I am told stress for these staff is longstanding.Years I'M told ,these staff have been insulted by their employers by not being paid correctly.

    A staffer recently embursed with the correct sick leave entitlement,this entitlement went back Five years.Incompetence at the top is probably why Robinson walked.Not to mention that it took a year to impliment those poor nurses National Agreement and then they had to wait six months to be reimbursed.

    A shameful era in Cranford history.

    Stress,anger and disillusionment combined with the complexities of there job must be making for fatigued and exasperated nurses.

  12. Gratifying to read the continuing public reaction to the Cranford debacle, almost without exception in favour of the established regime, that worked well for more than two decades.

    We, the people who remember Cranford from its beginning, are the very people who can bring about its resurrection, providing we keep the public pressure on those who have been responsible for the present situation.

    Don't forget those you know who have been cared for at Cranford. In memory of them, keep airing your concerns .

  13. am I mistaken or is it an election year. Come on Mr Yule and Mrs Arnott, what are you there for, if not to preserve the important community assets, Cranford Hospice has surely earnt the right to call its self that. In the many families that have been cared for by Cranford and its staff,and the many thousands of dollars that the community has freely given over the years.


    The Staff that have been made too or taken redundencey have done so as a result of an disfunctional organisation trying to hide from the community the "real" issue.

    Where are all the communities hard earned funds going?

    The day that the HBDHB take proper control of this very needed service by insisting on a new Trust rather than the current PSEC, the better.

    It is not surprising that the 2 top people being Hall and Robinson within PSEC have honerably fallen on thier swords, what is surpising is that Keane and Suanderson have not yet chosen the same fate!

    Keane thinks he is untouchable!

    The TAS report stated that the Management Team was clearly responcible for not establishing the Change Management sucessfully. Not Medical or Nursing staff!

    To change the workings within a business/ Service such as Cranford, it takes a management team that is confident in thier own ability, whom listen to their workforce and lead their team into accepting this change wilfully and with enthusiasum!

    However, Keane and Suanderson have been more like Hitler and Eva insisting that the staff (mostly Nurses, as all the other professional staff have moved on and are already in dwindelled numbers)get on the Cranford Bus and join the ride OR ELSE!!!. "Democracey" is not a word to be used in Keanes presents apparently.

    The latest process has been a true "catistrofic event" for the Hawkes Bay.

    The Nurses that have been made redundant are meeting regularly to cry in each others company, not for the loss of their own jobs but knowing that the people of Hawkes Bay have lost collectivly, well into the hundereds of years of Palliative Care knowledge. They did not do this job for the money!!!

    More suprisingly the nurses that have kept their jobs cry dayly also, as they do not want to be at Cranford under the management of Keane and Suanderson as well as take on work that will strecth their capabilites as Paliative Care providers under what already is a Stressful enviroment, looking after the sick and dying people (and their families) of Hawkes Bay.

    Kevin Snee; While everyone accepts that the HBDHB are not the direct employers of the Medical and Nursing staff at Cranford, the HBDHB provide the bulk of funding to keep this service operational.

    Their are Nurses that have just been made redundant with years of experience, whom are studing for Masteres Degrees in Palliatave Care while other Nurses are reemployed with little or no current Palliative Care experence. Explain how this benefits Hakes Bay and the service that is suposed to be provided by Cranford?

    The only answer is that Keane and Saunderson have picked what they consider to be a "complient workforce" that are in finacial need of a job or too soft to question what Keane states is "Best Practice".

    Good Luck.

    If a new Trust is not arranged and PSEC is kept as the provider of Palliative Care, Keane and Saunderson left to manage Cranford, we as a community will be watching this same catastofic event happening within the next 12 months!

    "Grow some Snee", and do whats right for your Community! Stop hiding behind political correctness, it is destroying poeples lives and the service Cranford should be providing to this community.

  15. I see in our daily tissue paper that there is an upcoming annual charity wine auction to raise money for Cranford which the paper promoted and its editor wholy supported in his column.

    I just want to know do the proceeds go to:

    A/ The Facility

    B/ The Nursing Staff

    C/ The Management, or

    D/ "Other"?

  16. Good point Andrew Frame. The answer is obviously C & D.

    Consider the costs of sacking 14 nurses for a moment:

    Average nursing redundancy cost of 2 months salary is c.$7500 X 14 = $105,000

    Successful unfair dismissal settlements will be in the region of $25 – 35,000 each. As Keane loses every case bought against him, 14 cases will rack up c.$420,000

    Hiring new nursing staff typically works out at 80% of annual salary; say $44,000 per nurse. To restaff Cranford will need about 10 staff, so add another $440,000 to the bill

    Shaun Robinson will have walked with at least a years pay. $170,000 would be a reasonable estimate.

    Use the same calculation for nursing staff replacement (80% of salary) to for a new CEO & theres another $136,000

    John Newlands charges out about $200 per hour & seems to be a 3-day a week member of the team, so lets put that at $4200 per week for 3 days pw or $109,200 for the 6-month change management programme.

    I make that an estimated $1,380,200.00 for this shameful debacle so far.

    Of course, these figures will be rubbished as fanciful conjecture by PSEC & their attack dog PR co' (I have'nt included their fees in this; lord knows what they amount to… nor the cost of ACL's staff inquisition) but represent very real staff hiring & firing costs experience by most organisations.

    So, congratulations to the wine auction organisers. You've covered about 10% of the costs of the cock-ups the management team you continue to support have made so far.

  17. Well said Joseph.

    You can also add the $18,000.00 that Cranford paid for the two facilitated staff mediations earlier in the year that came to nothing because management failed to implement the recommendations.

    Also, 18 nurses were made redundant,not 14. 6 took voluntary redundancy because they could no longer stomach working in the place and 12 got the chop despite PSEC/DHB's own restructuring proposal stating that only 1.5 full time equivalent nursing positions would go.

    PSEC/DHB are adamant that their process was fair and transparent. If that process was fair and transparent, I'd hate to be involved in one where they had an agenda.

  18. And don't forget the others who were either made redundant then replaced (with less fanfare but just as much damage) in the previous 2 years (pharmacists, doctors, business manager etc) or who chose to resign while they still had even a shred of professional and personal self-esteem left. And the original Harper-Devine review in 2007. And the HR review of the pharmacy "restructure". And Dr McLeod's earlier review of standards of care in 2008. The list goes on…


    It must be time to change PSEC and their Executive Director!!

    Come on HBDHB (Kevin Snee). We all make mistakes. Its about time you fixed this one by ridding the community of both PSEC and Keane!!

    Do the right thing!

    Do not continue to let all the "Community Money" that has been provided/ gifted to Cranford with both "Love and Caring", to be used as ongoing funds for PSEC and there mounting Catastrophic cock ups!

    Phase 2 of the restructure.


    If this was a "profit expecting organisation" in this current economic climate, the shareholders of this business would have bought Keane a bus ticket back to Palmerston North some time ago!!!

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