The new Tiaho Mai

There has been a lot of discussion in the media in recent times about how we as a society and in particular how District Health Boards care for our mentally unwell. As a health board, we recognise the importance of treating our very unwell patients with the best, evidence-based therapeutic environment possible. To this end, I am very pleased to share with you the imminent start of the new Tiaho Mai. We will soon be moving some patients into other refurbished but temporary areas to allow for construction to begin over the next couple of months.

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How are we really doing?

Recently, we shared with the media the findings of a report on CM Health’s performance.

The report, Quality Improvement at Counties Manukau Health; A Case Study Evaluation, led by Professor Robin Gauld from the University of Otago, showed that while there are definitely areas for improvement, we really are heading in the direction we want to go.  What’s more, we’ve developed a distinctive culture here where everyone is committed to continually doing better.

We’re trying to deliver healthcare services to a population of 500,000 with high levels of socio-economic deprivation and the well-documented corresponding healthcare challenges of which you will all be aware. It’s complex and expensive, and we have to constantly be asking ourselves; how are we really doing?

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We’re asking you, and our community, to have your say

People across the organisation have been working with me over the past 12-18 months on our long- term plans, which include the development of our Healthy Together strategy. As part of this, we have been reviewing future service requirements for sites we currently own throughout the district. The largest of these sites is the Manukau SuperClinic (MSC) site.

As you know our Healthy Together strategic plan outlines what we want to achieve for the people of Counties Manukau over the next five years. A key part of this is supporting Healthy Communities.

The SuperClinic site is in the midst of our Manukau locality which has a very diverse population of 180,000 people including many people with high needs.

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The Lymphoedema Service at Middlemore Hospital saved my life

From [L] Peggy, Tracy and Jodie
From [L] Peggy, Tracy and Jodie
Eight years ago Tracy hadn’t heard of Lymphoedema – a swelling in an area of the body due to damaged lymph nodes.

Tracy was a fit, active young woman, competing in track and field. Lymphoedema hadn’t crossed her mind – why would it?   However, that was about to change when she rolled her ankle while taking part in a search and rescue exercise. “My ankle started to swell up, however instead of the swelling coming down over time, it got worse. At one stage you couldn’t tell my ankle from the rest of my leg,” says Tracy.

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People helping people

Imagine you are experiencing a long-term health condition that is having a big effect on your life. While your doctor can tell you what your condition is and your treatment options, for many people it’s not until they talk to someone who has “walked in their shoes”, and has the time to listen and understand their individual circumstances, that they start to find ways to cope with, recover from, or live well with their condition.

This powerful tool of engagement is called Peer Support, and it’s being used by the Kia Kaha team, led by health psychologist Leona Didsbury at East Tamaki Healthcare, to change the way services connect with people who have long-term conditions, who are not managing well. I’m now joined by David Codyre, Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead Manaaki Hauora, Supporting Wellness Campaign to tell us more.

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Moments of excellence

We have moments of excellence in our organisation every day and that’s due to the people who work here. People who are passionate about what they do and have a real ‘fire in their belly’ for providing the best care they can and making a difference. Meet Eti Televave and Tanya du Plessis, two staff members who strive to be the best in what they do, yet remain humble, thankful and determined to give back to the people and communities that supported them. Eti is a senior physiotherapist who recently graduated from a Pasifika Leadership Programme and Tanya was awarded Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) Pharmacist of the year (2015).

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The most enjoyable blog I have written

Before I begin, I have to say writing this blog gave me so much enjoyment. The two short letters I’m about to share, highlight the amazing, caring, compassionate and skilled people working at CM Health, and these are just the people I know about. The below feedback was sent in from Sandy Neva who works in EC and the Mihaere family whose premature baby, Kaiden was admitted to Neonatal Care.

Both these stories are great examples of our values and strategy in action.

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