Supporting a social investment approach

This week the Minister for State Services announced a newly established South Auckland Social Investment Board to improve the livelihoods of our most vulnerable children. South Auckland is a young, diverse and growing community, however within that community, are families finding it hard to make ends meet and at risk children, facing abuse and neglect. In response the South Auckland Social Investment Board (SIB), which includes social, health, justice and community agencies will work together to improve outcomes – firstly focusing on 1500 at-risk children and their families living in Mangere.

I am very pleased to be a member of this Board on behalf of Counties Manukau Health. We are also playing an important role in hosting the Programme Office for the Board led by Margie Apa, and the cross-agency team that has been pulled together. By working collectively our most vulnerable children can grow up to be healthy, happy and productive adults.

I’m joined by Sandra Alofivae, lawyer, community leader and SIB Independent Chair to tell us more.

I was raised on the ideal that family is the cornerstone of our society and that family should look after and care for one another. Growing up my maternal grandparents were the undisputed centre of my family, which comprised of seven grown-up children and 23 grandchildren.   Needless to say home was vibrant, busy and, by sheer necessity, regulated.

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Lessons from 46 years in health

Recently I attended the retirement celebration for Kathie Smith, Service Manager for ORL, Ophthalmology and Audiology.  The high esteem with which Kathie is regarded was demonstrated by the large turn-out of people, from all areas of our organisation.

Kathie has been working at CM Health for 46 years and during that time has helped shape the careers of many staff members fortunate enough to work with her.  Kathie has made a  major contribution  to the health of the wider Counties Manukau community and had a profound effect on the development and shape of our current and future health services.  To her credit she has helped make the Manukau SuperClinic and Surgery Centre the world class facility it is today.   While Kathie will be sorely missed, we wish her well for her retirement.   I’ll  now hand you over to Kathie to share her reflections of her time at CM Health.

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A very modern problem.

Most of us go to great lengths to keep our homes safe and secure.  For some this may mean a locked front gate, an alarm, security lights, or maybe even cameras to monitor your property remotely.  For your valuables the level of protection may be increased by keeping them locked away in a safe. The success of you protecting your home is dependent on all layers of protection being in place, and working. If you have an alarm – make sure it is on, and don’t leave the front door open!

Now ask yourself this question, do you follow the same logical steps when it comes to protecting patient information?

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A ‘whole of system’ approach to patient care

The memory of this year’s APAC Forum is still with me, even though it’s two weeks on and I am very much back to the day job. What continues to stand out as a key theme at this year’s Forum, and the ones before, is the need to put patient care and safety at the heart of everything we do. CM Health is doing some excellent work in the patient care domain, however, like our patients we have to navigate a complex and constantly evolving health system. The truth is, I suspect we should never be satisfied we are finished in the pursuit of excellence in patient centred care as every time we get something right, we should lift the bar and aim for something greater again for those we serve. We should also be really open to learn from both our failures and successes. One thing is clear patient care sits at the core of our strategy and values. For this reason, it deserves our full attention.

For the past few months, CM Health has been undergoing a review of the domains of patient care which includes patient safety, experience and professional standards and with it the best way of ensuring we develop not just effective integrated care, but also the professional leadership that will help design and deliver it. We are an incredibly effective and high quality organisation, but we need to be sure we are best placed to be that in the future, given all the challenges and changes we face and the ambition we have for our patients and communities. It is crucial to change when we can, rather than when we have to.

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Great care everywhere: APAC Forum 2016

This time last week, some 1500 health and care change-makers travelled from over 30 countries to ‘explore new frontiers’ and ‘design a blueprint for a healthy future’ at this year’s APAC Forum in Sydney, Australia.

What’s remarkable about this forum is that in the five years it has been running, it’s become a world class event hosted between New Zealand and our neighbours, Australia. In my opinion, the APAC Forum has helped us find our collective voice around innovation and improvement and this comes from the passion, commitment and determination of people coming together to make a difference.

Once again, this year’s APAC Forum attracted world class speakers, presenters, and people at the front line of change and innovation. It was easy to be swept up in the tide of energy and excitement as 1500 people shared conversations and ideas of improvement and change. What was particularly rewarding to see was the appetite to not just talk about change but to put those words into action. This was reflected in over 50 submissions into the Ko Awatea International Excellence in Health Improvement Awards and 246 APAC Forum poster displays. There was a real sense of much-deserved achievement and pride.
So what were some of the key highlights?

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At Risk Individuals (ARI) programme reaches 22,000 patients

Two years ago I wrote a blog about the launch of the At Risk Individuals (ARI) programme. At the time I was excited to announce that we’d be supporting up to 30,000 people with long-term conditions and other risk factors – such as inadequate housing – to keep well and out of the hospital, as much as possible. People in this group are at a greater risk of poor health outcomes, including unplanned hospitalisation, and they use a disproportionate amount of healthcare services. The goal of the ARI programme was to provide earlier intervention and planned, proactive, patient-centred care by helping primary care identify our ‘at risk’ patients and better coordinate their services. So, two years on, how have we fared?

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Giving kids a ‘fair go’

In a previous blog, I spoke about Dr Lance O’Sullivan, who is working in the health equity area.  Helping to support that work is an exciting project called Kootuitui ki Papakura, which is tackling the issue of equity head on by helping the children of Papakura to have the same opportunities as other children in New Zealand.

Developed in conjunction with Kidz First Children’s Hospital, Kootuitui ki Papakura brings together primary schools, an intermediate school, Papakura High School and corporate organisations – most notably Westpac, the community itself, community trusts, teachers, health care staff, and many more.

Addressing three areas – health, homes and education, the programme has seen a massive commitment from many people.

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