A lot to be thankful for

When I think about the challenges facing us as a health organisation, two well-known quotes spring to mind. The first from Walt Disney: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” and my personal favourite, by the creator of Sherlock Holmes “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

In the blog today, I’m going to reflect on what can be achieved when we strive for the best, push through the barriers and open ourselves up to the opportunities that come our way.

They say an organisation is only as strong as its people, and I was reminded of this at our Diversity Ball, when over 700 people came together to enjoy each other’s company and have fun. It was an amazing night and a great opportunity to celebrate the many countries, cultures and backgrounds that make up Team Counties. It’s this diversity that is our strength and makes us who we are. As I looked around the room, I was reminded of what an amazing organisation we have and how potent a force Team Counties is when people come together.

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A patient’s perspective

The other day I was having coffee with Briar Peat – a Senior Medical Officer at Middlemore Hospital.   Briar showed me a letter of thanks she had received from a patient, who had spent eight days recovering from an illness at Middlemore Hospital.   In the letter the patient, who we will call Mr X expressed his gratitude for the professional, kind and caring way he was dealt with by a wide range of health professionals.

As a reminder of just how well Team Counties does, I’ld like to share this letter with you today. Many thanks to Mr X for sharing his remarkable story.

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Our people off to Melbourne for APAC

The APAC Forum is Asia Pacific’s premier healthcare conference, designed and delivered by our very own centre for health system innovation and improvement, Ko Awatea.

This year (1-3 September) the Forum is being held in Melbourne, hosted by the Commission for Hospital Improvement (CHI), part of Victoria’s Department of Health.  I’m joined by Jonathon Gray, Director Ko Awatea to tell us what we can expect to see and hear over an action packed 3 days. 

Every year hundreds of individuals from across NZ, Australia and Asia Pacific make the trip to APAC. And it’s not surprising when people get to meet and hear from some of the great minds in health improvement, share the work they have been doing and learn about the great initiatives taking place in organisations across the world.

We have approximately 30 CM Health staff attending APAC this year, with many displaying posters that showcase the innovative work taking place across Counties Manukau Health.   It’s always a proud moment when we get to ‘show off’ the work we are doing at CM Health. It’s also a great feeling to know that your hard work is being given the recognition and exposure it deserves.

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Recognising our ‘everyday heroes’

Heroes come in many shapes and sizes and while there are various traits that help to make up a hero, such as courage and bravery, the one thing I have found is that most of our heroes are reluctant to seek out attention. For that reason I’d like to share an email that came across my desk the other day, about a group of Theatre staff, who despite having a particularly horrific shift, went the extra mile and performed at the top of their game.

To tell us more I have asked Catherine Larsen, Theatre Service Manager to provide some further details

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Taking stock

As we approach the end of the financial year, it’s important to look back on the past 12 months and reflect on how far we have come as an organisation. It’s been a busy and challenging year and despite the growing demands on our time, resources and services we continue to be a high performing organisation. This is backed up by the fact that we continue to see over 95% of our patients within 6 hours in Emergency Care and have treated 13% more elective patients than last year. This is a testament to the hard work and amazing effort by everyone involved.

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Posted in A Whole of Systems Approach, Everyday Heroes, Excellence, Project Swift, Saving 20,000 Bed Days, Staff Engagement, Sustainability | Leave a comment

Keeping well this winter

While we are experiencing a relatively mild early winter, we must not be complacent about the risks of influenza. We currently have two people in our ICU suffering severely from influenza and we have had two deaths so far. And this is before winter really breathes down our necks. There is every sign of influenza ramping up in the South Island and experience tells us it will work its way north to us. It appears that H1N1 is the main culprit and this is indeed the nasty beast which played havoc in the last northern winter.

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Farewell and Thank You

Over the last few years as I’ve been doing my blog, I have been helped hugely by Katie Berry, a Senior Communications Advisor in our Communications Team. She has worked with me through thick and thin, encouraging me and others to make sure the CEO Blog happens every week. It is really to Katie’s credit that the blog has taken off as the great communication channel that it is. Sadly, she’s moving on to another role outside CM Health but before she goes, I thought it would be a good idea for her to sign off by contributing one last blog post about her time as a member of Team Counties. Over to you Katie, and thanks again for all your hard work… Continue reading

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