Most popular blogs

I’ve been blogging for over three years, and it’s a weekly ritual that I look forward to.   Looking back at previous posts I’m in awe of how much we have grown as an organisation, what we have accomplished – big and small and the amazing people who work here.

To date we have published 174 blogs with a total of 112,460 hits – that’s quite an achievement. While the blogs are increasing in popularity, what intrigues me is the interest they are receiving from people around the world. This includes our neighbours from across the Tasman, the United Kingdom, USA, India, Japan, France, Germany and Africa.  Our voice is being heard across the globe!

So what were the most popular blogs from 2014?

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Thoughts and Podcasts for the day

Before going on leave, I put pen to paper and managed to write two blogs to be published while I was away.   In case you missed the blog last week, called ‘Let’s be honest about ourselves’ you can read it here.   The second is as follows …..

Thoughts and Podcasts for the day

Although now a distant memory one of the benefits of having some down time over the summer break was the opportunity to do a bit of reading. One book that struck a chord was by surgeon, writer and public health researcher, Atul Gawande, called Being Mortal – Medicine and What Matters in the End.

If you are looking for an eye-opening and riveting book, I’d recommend this one. In “Being Mortal,” Atul Gawande takes on a question that everyone faces: How can we make our last days more comfortable, meaningful, and affordable?

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Let’s get honest about ourselves ….

What does a good day at work look like for you? What do we need to do to increase those experiences?  What’s a bad day? How do we decrease those experiences?  These are the kinds of questions I’ll be asking you over the coming months as part of our values refresh.  I like to think about this as coming clean and being honest with ourselves about what makes our system a great place to work and when it isn’t as good, why?  It’s also important that we stretch our conversations to include our colleagues who work in primary and community-based organisations – they are part of our patient’s experience of healthcare.   So what do values have to do with patient safety and quality of care?

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Everyday heroes – patients taking back control

Many of you have heard me talk about our growing and ageing population and the pressure this places on an already stretched health system.  As we live longer, our rates of chronic and long-term disease, such as diabetes, lung and heart disease increase.  In fact there are 67,000 people currently living with long term illness in Counties Manukau – with many dealing with preventable risk factors, such as high blood pressure, obesity and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. The effect this has on a person’s life is immense, with many struggling with everyday tasks, such as walking to the letterbox, going to the shops or mowing the lawn.   For some there are months or years off work, continually feeling tired and unwell, and frequent trips to hospital or outpatient appointments.  From a health professional’s perspective there are greater demands on resources, rising costs and an underlying feeling we are only just scratching the surface.

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Coping with the post-holiday blues

Coming back to work from holiday last week, I was struck by the number of articles relating to returning to work and not suffering from post-holiday depression in the process. According to the Herald (so it must be true!) an awful lot of us do not take our full leave entitlement each year because we feel too busy. I personally think this is a recipe for disaster. The leave we need to take is for a purpose. It allows us to recharge the batteries both mentally and physically. Further, it gives us reflection time…time to reflect on what worked well for us in the past year, what didn’t and what we can do about it. This goes for both our professional and our personal lives. Getting the right work/life balance is critical for our home and work lives.

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New Year’s Resolution: Don’t worry, be happy

A new year invites endless possibilities and aspirations to do more or better than we did last year. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to resist the list of things I (or others!) should do, inspired by my holiday readings. I’ve also noticed the lively twittering and buzzing on social media on this year’s trends and the latest reported findings about losing weight, drinking less, exercising more and the secrets to that ever elusive fountain of everlasting youth, happiness and all things good in life!

In fact, if I followed the advice in news articles over the past week, I’d be on my bike in lycra to slow ageing, switching off the snooze button on my alarm to get my natural sleeping rhythm happening, eating wholemeal porridge every morning to extend my life, among other sensible and not so sensible ideas. The top five fitness trends would have me shaking like Beyoncé, doing ballet barre exercises, using telemetry to track my fitness (hold the phone… just checking my FitBit for how many calories I’ve spent typing this blog), yoga and high intensity training using my own body weight.

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Tis the season to “RE”!

While I am looking forward to spending the holidays with family and friends, I must say I’m mostly looking forward to having time out to myself to rest, refresh and read the growing pile of books I’ve been keen to get to. We should rename this season as the season to “RE”! REfresh, REnew, REinvent, REvise, REflect, RE-energise, REbalance, REassess….. get the picture? However you choose to celebrate and take time out, I hope you enjoy the break. When you come back next year I’ll be asking for your help on a few important pieces of work.

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