Hunter Review update 2 October

Posted on October 2, 2015

The Together Hunter review steering committee met with management yesterday and discussed the following:


You and other members have raised ongoing concerns with the ongoing use of external contractors within the Department of Health (DoH).  The Health Minister announced in Parliament last month that the Queensland Audit Office will be undertaking an external independent review of use of contractors within DoH.  In line with this announcement an ongoing process to deal with the use of external contractors was introduced which consists of enhanced procedures around the engagement and monitoring of the use of external contractors. These enhanced processes are designed to support employment security and have resulted in many external contractor positions ceasing over the last few weeks.  The Department must continue to ensure that it is actively working towards ensuring employment security for public servants and ensuring that public funds are being put to good use.

Long Term Temporary Review

As previously reported the preliminary assessment of temporary staff within DoH has been finalised. Divisional business managers have finished the temporary staff  matching process against the temporary conversion policy.  Business managers are now being asked to confirm which staff in their areas fulfil the requirements under the policy dealing with conversion of temporary employees to permanent status. This review process is on track to be finalised by end of October 2015 with all temporary staff being notified if they will be converted to a permanent position at this time you can view the policy here. 

Business Services Review

The final determination by the Director-General was released Tuesday 22 September you can view the document here.

Vacancy Management Process (VMP)

Some areas of DoH have been asked to ensure workforce plans are in place prior applications being progressed to the VMP committee allowing positions to be advertised.  If you are aware of issues or have concerns surrounding changes to your areas with regards to vacant positions, please let us know via  We need to ensure that all changes are treated according to the industrial instruments as they may require Business cases to  be prepared and consultation to occur with you and other members. 

Delegates were informed that some positions processed by the VMP committed have only been extended for 2 to 3 months, with a request that the positions be permanently recruited over that period by the VMP committee.  This is in line with the Governments Employment Security policy to maximise permanent employment.  Implied permanency provisions are being checked by VMP prior to any approval for positions to be advertised.

SPARK Change Initiative

The SPARK change program involves departmental staff working together to make positive and lasting change to improve the culture of the Queensland Department of Health. The program goals are based on the Hunter Review recommendations. If you want to find out more you can go to SPARK CHANGE collaboration page or you might like to join the yammer group SPARK CHANGE YAMMER. Currently SPARKS are involved in the development of functional statements for the Divisions and a business operation model. This is a ground swell/grass roots movement within the Department and SPARKS provide a conduit between management and staff. A list of SPARKs that you may wish to speak to in relation to this change process will be provided to you in due course. In the meantime  you can contact Josephine Peat who is not only a Together Workplace Delegate but is also a SPARK.

You can still become a SPARK by completing the application process that is described under the Department of Health change program on the QHEPS Hunter Review site or using these forms.

Deputy Director General (DDG) positions

The successful candidates for DDG positions were announced last week.

Susan Middleditch DDG for Corporate Services

Kathleen Forrestor DDG for Strategy, Policy and Planning

Nick Steele DDG for Healthcare Purchasing and System Performance

Dr John Wakefield DDG for Clinical Excellence

*Dr Jeannette Young Chief Health Officer and DDG for Prevention did not go through a selection process as this is a statutory position. 

Update your details

Many of you are on the move and it is vital that you let us know if any of your details change. This includes making sure Together has your current home and work address, email and phone numbers. If you have not updated your details in the last six months you can update your details here (link please)

Join us and nominate to become a contact or delegate for your area!

Nominations are open now, we are looking to ensure that you and all members have contacts that you can eaaily access and that you are well supported and represented. We'd love to have you on board and will provide every support for you. If you need any more information or want to nominate for your area email us at

Do you have an issue?

If you have specific issues in your area, you can easily raise these issues for discussion with the Department. DoH delegates attend fortnightly meetings with the Hunter Review implementation team. If you wish to raise issues at this meeting please let us know by emailing . With your energy and support, Together DoH members are changing things for the better.


Remember – the only way that we  can maintain decent working conditions and quality services for Queenslanders is by being a strong union. Encourage your colleagues to join you. They can join online here. Please share this communication with everyone in your area.

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