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.