Final Call for Feedback

Wow – has been inundated this week with responses to my last post, Going Green. From corrugated paper cups to recycling cutlery and using rain water to flush toilets, your suggestions have been many and varied. I’m thrilled to receive this overwhelming response and to get such a strong signal from you that this is a priority for our organisation. Sustainability is clearly an issue that many people, myself included, feel very passionate about.

In response, I’m asking our Finance Director, Ron Pearson, to set up a sustainability workstream as part of Thriving in Difficult Times 2 (T2). This will focus on how we can become more sustainable in order to reduce wastage and lessen our impact on the environment. I want us to set some really specific objectives and targets so that we can measure the progress that we make. I’m also keen for this to be an initiative which is owned by staff, which means involving both senior managers and others from across the organisation. These people will be working through the suggestions I’ve received and considering whether we can incorporate them into the way we work. More on this in the coming months…

On a different note, feedback on the Planning and Delivery Organisational Design Consultation Document closes on Monday morning (October 10) at 10am. I’d encourage you all to review this and provide feedback. I’m really interested in hearing from you with suggestions on how what has been proposed could be improved. Don’t forget to email by 10am on Monday.

To those who have already shared their opinions – thank you. Not only have people really thought about the challenges ahead of us but I’m pleased to say that some suggestions are in fact much better than the ones I originally put out. All too often management reorganisations focus on what I call ‘boxology’ or who goes in what box. Instead this proposal has generated great debate in the organization about what we’re trying to achieve, how to get there, how we get good clinical leadership and how we engage with our partners more effectively. I’m absolutely thrilled by the sophistication, intelligence and creativity of the debate we’re having around what’s required to organise ourselves for excellence to give the best in patient care. It’s a reflection on what a great organisation this is that we are able to do so.

Peter Gow summed it up with this description at a recent meeting with clinicians: ‘What we are doing is looking at the structure that’s going to enable us to change. What we need to change are the processes and models of care by which we deliver service in order to get better outcomes for patients’.

He’s absolutely right. What we need is a structure that enables us to work differently in order to have better outcomes for patients and remain a thriving healthcare system. And what underpins all of this is the quality of our relationships – between clinicians and managers; between clinicians, primary and secondary care; between professionals, and between the DHB and our PHO partners. A very important priority for me is how we broker great whole-of-system relationships where we know each other really well and can align our clinical priorities across different organisations. Only then can we really redesign the entire system to benefit patient care.

Finally, it’s crunch time in the Rugby World Cup with the quarterfinals this weekend. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be Welsh. Thrilled as I am we’ve got through to this stage, I’m slowly daring to hope that we could go further. Ireland and Wales regularly beat each other so it really is all on this Saturday night. It will be defibrillators at the ready!

Which brings me of course to the All Blacks and the sad news about Daniel Carter. Although the focus has to be on the team, it’s such a terrible thing to have happened to arguably the best rugby player in the world at this time. Still, he’s remained upbeat and encouraged us to support the team which is an incredibly modest response. How he’s accepted this setback is remarkable and reflects his absolute professionalism as a sports player. He’ll be sorely missed but I’m still quietly confident that the All Blacks will win. I think (and hope) the real competition at this World Cup is who gets to lose to the boys in black at the final.



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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