The Health Reforms of the 1980s and 1990s saw the implementation of a new system of public hospital management in which the positions of Matrons-in-Chief and Superintendents-in-Chief were abolished. Now a single CEO managed each hospital.
Sheila Mahony had occupied the position of Nurse Manager until she retired in 1995. There followed a period of two years where the nursing staff had no head, putting considerable pressure on the Nursing Supervisors.
With the arrival of Dr Leo Mercer as CEO in 1997 a significant change occurred. A Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery was established. Anita Bamford-Wade was appointed the first Director of Nursing and Midwifery, reporting directly to the CEO. On arrival she found that nursing administration in disarray with a high casualisation of the nursing workforce and a large number of vacancies.
Across the organisation Nursing and Midwifery adopted a Shared Governance model which consisted of five teams: Leadership, Quality , the Career Pathway, Professional Development & Research and Practice.
Anita and the Team Leaders made up the Nursing and Midwifery Leadership for the organisation and together they worked hard to change the existing culture.
A New Graduate Program for new graduates to support them over their 1st year of practice was established. This was very successful and was eventually adopted as a national initiative for retaining and supporting the new graduates. Post graduate education was encouraged and CCDHB was the first in NZ to have a professorial appointment in Nursing and Midwifery with Maralyn Fourer being a joint appointment with Victoria University.