Looking Back and Going Forward

When I get the opportunity, I like to spend time simply walking around Middlemore. Recently I was doing just that with someone who hadn’t been there for a year or two. They were astonished at how far MMH had come, in terms of the hospital’s facilities, in such a short period of time.

Their comments made me reflect on that transformation.

Firstly, when the Clinical Services Building is finished, CMDHB will have spent over half a billion dollars in a five year period improving and redeveloping the MMH site. For the first time, I think we can genuinely say that the investment coming into South Auckland reflects the needs of our community. I now want to harness our ‘can do’ attitude to make the best use of what really has become a first class, 21st century hospital.

It goes without saying that this redevelopment work has been extremely disruptive for staff. The work has been a positive thing for CMDHB and our community but the reality is it’s been incredibly disruptive for you. The fact that we are continually increasing the number of patients we treat as well as improving the quality of care they receive whilst being innovative about the ways in which we work, all while operating in what has effectively been a very large building site, is testament to your huge patience and professionalism. Undoubtedly CMDHB is now leading the country in many areas. Thank you for your contribution while we’ve been ‘under construction’.

Now that we have a world class hospital site, how can we keep it that way? I’d love your input into how we get the site looking as good as it can and how we can make it a place you and our community are proud of. How do we make the hospital space a high quality environment that is reflective of our aspirations?

Speaking of which, this week I gave a presentation to a number of managers and clinicians from secondary and primary care at the Master Planning Clinical Workshop. We began thinking about the facilities we need in order to create a healthcare system, as opposed to just a hospital, that’s fit for the future. It’s a really exciting process because for the first time we’re thinking as a whole system – the DHB, primary and secondary care, and general practice.

Thanks again for your encouraging and positive responses to the blog. There have been a lot of suggestions about our top 10 wicked problems. I welcome you to read feedback on my other blog posts, particularly ‘What are your top 10?, July 24, 2011’. So far we’ve identified three wicked problems – staff engagement, hand hygiene and planning for acute surgery. There’s also an interesting suggestion on the same blog post about sustainability which I encourage you to consider.

If you’ve sent in feedback but haven’t heard from me or my EA Lyn Butler, your email may have got lost amongst the hundreds I get each day. To address this, I’ve created a special email address for responses to my blog – ceoblog@middlemore.co.nz. I’ll be keeping an eye on the inbox so keep the feedback coming in. Lyn is also setting up appointments for everyone who has asked me to shadow them. I look forward to meeting you all soon.

Among the feedback this week is this story from Sharon Ranson, Clinical Nurse Manager in Module 7 and Module 7A at MSC:

“I am compelled to tell you a story about a non-typical day at Module 7… On a recent Thursday morning, we placed an emergency call for a gentleman who was extremely sick during an exercise treatment test, resulting in cardiac arrest… Unfortunately, despite 30 minutes of our best efforts, we were unable to revive this particular gentleman, resulting in death – a very unusual circumstance in outpatients.

During this emergency, we had another patient who became extremely ill with a bowel obstruction and required urgent transportation to MMH. At the same time, we had a third emergency – a gentleman with abnormal heart rhythm who was simultaneously having an epileptic episode and required urgent assistance.

What I really want to share with you is the absolute camaraderie and ‘can do’ attitude of all the staff involved. My staff were spread thinly dealing with three emergencies simultaneously but we contacted other clinical nurse managers who came to our rescue and also brought staff to help keep our clinics running smoothly… For me it was pure pride to see the emergency response team, the paramedic team, the CIU team and cardiologists and my staff and then the bereavement team all working together for the benefit of the patient. To see my colleagues wade in to help… to ensure no patients were disadvantaged by having to wait lengthy periods…, to have Chris arrive from the bereavement team and support the family and us so very well, and having clinicians who had heard of our escapades coming in to offer their support and praise of the team.

I believe the spirit of CMDHB is its staff – our ‘can do/want to do’ attitude and belief that we can do better and that we strive to do better each and every day, and the compassion and support we show to each other that allows us to come to work the next day with a smile on our faces and go on caring for our community.”

I agree Sharon – your story absolutely captures the ‘can do’ attitude of staff at MSC and indeed throughout the entire organisation. Thanks for sharing it with us and thanks to all involved for going above and beyond your roles to help those in need. It’s a great note on which to end this week.



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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