The story of our District Health Board

Our Quality Accounts are just as important as our financial accounts. Where our financial accounts tell us how we are using our money, the Quality Accounts tell us a great deal about how we are living up to the ‘granny test’ and providing the care we would wish for our loved ones to receive. In my time here I have always said that clinical quality is the only game in town. At the end of the day providing safe and high quality care to our patients is a key priority and while the Quality Accounts tell us how we are doing, it also tells a great story about how we continue to improve the care we provide. That’s a huge testament to everyone’s hard work. To tell us more about the Quality Accounts I’m joined by Gloria Johnson, Chief Medical Officer and Jo Rankine, Quality Assurance Manager. Continue reading “The story of our District Health Board”

In service to our community

Today was the last meeting of our current Counties Manukau District Health Board, which means saying good bye to some great board members who have been guiding our DHB over the past few years. In particular I’d like to acknowledge the great work, support and leadership from Dr Lee Mathias, who has been our Chair for the past three years. It’s a real honour to hand over my blog to Lee to reflect on her time at CM Health.

Continue reading “In service to our community”

Looking out for one another

I want to use this blog to reflect on the recent earthquakes in Christchurch, Wellington and Bay of Plenty. For those affected, it’s been a deeply unsettling time, leaving physical, mental and emotional scars. I’ve only experienced one earthquake in my lifetime and that was in Wellington. I was at the airport at the time and heard this loud rumbling sound, followed by the flickering of lights. Everyone was silent and while it only lasted a few minutes, it was significant enough to rattle many of the people around me. While the latest earthquakes were on a larger scale than what I experienced, I think we tend to underestimate the physical and psychological impacts it can have – not just during the earthquake but in the weeks, months and years to follow. People have lost their lives, their homes, their livelihoods and their peace of mind. For many this is not the first time they have had to pick up the pieces and rebuild. In fact, in the past year, NZ has experienced 189 earthquakes and a thousand more aftershocks!

I’ve had a personal insight into the Christchurch earthquakes. As some of you know my daughter is in the Logistics Corps in the NZ army and was one of the first soldiers into Kaikoura with the relief convoy.

Continue reading “Looking out for one another”

Diabetes epidemic demands more of everyone

According to latest figures, 34,000 people are living with diabetes in Counties Manukau and those are just the people we know about. That’s thousands of people who are coping daily with a complex disease that has a number of contributory factors, for example lack of access to healthy food or poor food choices, lifestyle issues, such as, lack of exercise and inability to afford good health care. In fact you can’t single out one cause – it’s a variety of factors that makes managing diabetes a challenge for patients, families and health professionals. What’s clear is we need a whole new way of thinking about how to manage the current diabetes epidemic – a whole new ‘paradigm’ shift, including providing services closer to patients’ homes. Who better then to lead the way than our primary care colleagues – the main source of care for our diabetic patients and their families. I’m joined by Dr Tim Hou, GP at Mangere Health Centre who describes the important role that GPs play in empowering patients – especially those with diabetes and their whaanau, to take a more active role in their health and well-being.

Continue reading “Diabetes epidemic demands more of everyone”

Return of the gut-less wonder

It’s been nearly two years since I had my bariatric surgery and several people have asked me how I’ve been going?

Before I give you a quick update, I’d like to thank those people who came up to me and shared their own weight loss stories. Some people talked about their experiences post-surgery, while others were exploring their options. Many said they were glad I shared my story, as it made it easier to talk freely about their own experiences, without judgement.

Deciding to have bariatric surgery was a major decision, and one I didn’t take lightly. After many years of trying one diet after another and battling with my weight surgery was the best long-term option for me.

Continue reading “Return of the gut-less wonder”

Let’s walk the talk

I’ve talked about patient safety in previous blogs, and there’s a reason why it features so regularly. Providing the best and safest care for our patients sits at the core of what we do. That’s why we work in health and that’s why we come to work each day to provide the best care and experience possible. Next week (31 October – 4 November) marks patient safety week at CM Health, and while there is a range of activities planned, patient safety should be a priority every day – 24/7.   The theme for this year’s national patient safety week, run by the Health Quality & Safety Commission is ‘Let’s Talk’, however CM Health is taking it a step further by saying ‘Let’s Walk the Talk’, which means doing what we say we will when it comes to safety, quality and experience.   I’m a firm believer that we need to lead by example and I’ve seen this demonstrated in some of our patient safety initiatives within our hospital and out in the community. However patient safety is a moving feast and we need to keep raising the bar when it comes to ensuring our patients receive the best care, every day. I’m joined by David Hughes, Clinical Director for patient safety, who shares his thoughts about the future of patient safety for CM Health.

Continue reading “Let’s walk the talk”

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.

Continue reading “Supporting a social investment approach”