What are your top 10?

It’s almost the end of the financial year and I’m pleased to report that, despite the difficult environment in which we’ve been operating, CMDHB has performed extraordinarily well over the last 12 months. This is largely thanks to Thriving in Difficult Times – a hugely successful project which this year has saved us somewhere in the region of $10 million.

Rather than cutting essential jobs or services (or rationing how many paperclips each staff member can use!) we’ve have to instead make changes to how we work. As the $10 million suggests, this has already been successful. What could easily have been a very difficult financial situation for us has been a great deal easier to manage thanks to permanent recurring change and an emphasis on working smarter. Thriving in Difficult Times has helped re-engineer CMDHB so that it’s now a successful organisation capable of adapting to the environment in which it operates. Putting it simply, we’ve started delivering better healthcare for better value.

It’s that ability to adapt and improve that I now want to harness and utilize for Ko Awatea.

Making connections at the opening of Ko Awatea

Making connections at the opening of Ko Awatea

It’s been a source of excitement and energy at Middlemore this week, with the centre opening on Tuesday and the Colloquium, featuring international guest speakers, running until Thursday afternoon. I gather one staff member even turned up for Tuesday’s 7am dawn ceremony at 5.15am, such was his excitement! I was thrilled to see so many staff faces in the crowd and delighted you took the opportunity to attend the sessions available. We were truly lucky to bring together such a phenomenal line-up of global healthcare leaders, especially in the drizzly depths of an Auckland winter.

I want to emphasize that the Ko Awatea journey is just beginning. It doesn’t stop now that the centre is open – this is just our starting point, from where the really interesting work can begin. So it’s time for us all to begin to think about how we solve the problems in front of us. Here is your opportunity to have input into solving the strategic challenges we face.

Firstly, under the leadership of Ko Awatea Director Professor Jonathon Gray, I’ll be asking the organisation to come up with our top 10 wicked problems. What are the 10 wicked issues we could address through Ko Awatea in order to improve the patient or staff experience? Some possibilities that spring to mind are:

  • How do we totally eliminate pressure sores from hospital?
  • How do we adapt a new approach in terms of acute surgery, demand for which is going up?
  • How do approach locality planning and try to build primary care and NGOs into delivering better pathways of care?

They’re my initial thoughts… what are yours?



Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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