A Four Minute Update

A report landed on my desk this week detailing the number of people who read this blog. It was great to learn that my blog is having an impact, with the site receiving 1130 visits during September. The average person spends four minutes here and, like most of their colleagues, checks in on a Monday. This is really heartening for me because the blog is all about finding a way to communicate key issues with you and share what’s driving the DHB.

I’m also pleased to find out that hundreds of people downloaded the Planning and Delivery Organizational Design Consultation Document and the Question and Answer document which accompanied it. It’s really important when proposing major strategic change that people feel able to contribute, able to help shape the outcome and able to see their part in making the future happen. Clearly a lot of you have taken this opportunity onboard.

This leads me to update you on progress with this management restructure. On Tuesday, I’ll be taking an early draft of the decision document to the board and I hope to have the final version with you soon after that process is complete. I’m conscious of the need to implement the changes required quickly so that we’re able to bring some real certainty to the organisation.

In other news, I was down in Wellington at the National CEOs’ Meeting this week at which Kevin Woods, the Ministry of Health’s Chief Executive and Director-General of Health, presented on key priorities for DHBs for the next year. Our key focus will be to create a sustainable health system which integrates primary and secondary care at its heart. There’s been a lot of debate about what Better, Sooner, More Convenient actually means. In short, it is just this – creating a sustainable healthcare system for the future. To do that we’ll be concentrating on the areas of older people, mental health and developing primary care (especially acute demand, child health and immunizations, and diabetes). Of course, this is underpinned by the ongoing drive to continually improve the quality of care delivered while delivering value for money.

It was interesting to note at the CEOs’ meeting that what’s emerging on the national agenda is very much in sync with what we’ve been working on in Counties Manukau for some time. Although much of what we talk about may appear daunting, I think we’ve got a couple of really exciting years ahead which will bring many opportunities and a great deal of potential resulting in even more excellent service than we currently deliver. This is why it’s so important we get our management structure right so that clinicians at the frontline are empowered to make the change we seek, enabled by the support of the management team.

As part of this change, next week we’re holding engagement events around the Saving 20,000 Bed Days initiative. Clinicians working in Counties Manukau from right across the health sector have been invited as a way of starting substantive work to identify what we’ve got to do to shift the pattern of demand on our health resources. I’ll update you on the progress we make in my next blog.

Ko Awatea made the news this week with a great article in the New Zealand Herald. You can read more here if you haven’t already seen the piece Healthcare system, heal thyself by reporter Juha Saarenin.

Finally, it would be great to be watching a Wales vs. All Blacks final this weekend but, as we say in Wales, c’est la vie! Good luck All Blacks and, if you’re reading this early next week as I now know many of you like to do, I hope you had a great time celebrating our magnificent victory.



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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