Two things have really brought me, and many others, down to earth this week. Firstly are the recent cases of child abuse which we’ve learned about through the media, and secondly, the documentary about child poverty which screened on TV3 on Tuesday.
These two distressing elements of society result not just in individual tragedies but a huge waste of human potential. They are both hugely serious issues for New Zealand and, as such, are on the agendas of all political parties at this time.
The point I’d like to make about this is to acknowledge the staff who treat and care for the young victims. This undoubtedly has a huge emotional impact on you, even those of you who have worked in health for some time. I want to express my gratitude to you all for coping with these terrible tragedies as part of your day-to-day work. They are the kinds of realities few of us can begin to comprehend, let alone deal with.
I also want to make sure that we are doing all we can as an organisation to support the staff involved in such cases. Please look out for each other and ask for help if you need it.
On a more positive note, the reach of the blog has become very clear to me this week. Since going public two weeks ago, the blog has received almost 3000 hits. I’ve had lots of emails from colleagues and friends in the United States and the United Kingdom who’ve also picked up on it through a variety of different sources.
But of particular significance was the response to last week’s post I did with Dr Mary Seddon about CMDHB’s Attitude to Errors. This topic clearly struck a chord, especially in the United States. As you can see by the comments left on last week’s blog, Paul Levy, a well-known and highly respected leader in healthcare quality and safety in America, picked up our post and graciously made reference to CMDHB’s attitude to errors in his own entry.
This reminds me what an incredibly powerful tool a public blog is for influencing general debate and how incredibly important it is for us to get our approach to errors right. It’s heartening to know that when we talk publicly about what we’re doing, we’re receiving positive feedback and generating constructive discussion.
Finally, I want to give you all an update about sustainability following my recent post ‘Going Green’. There was an overwhelming response to that post which really demonstrated to me how strongly people feel about the issue and the need for CMDHB to progress this area. As such, I’ve met with a group of staff who, under the leadership of Dr David Galler, will form a sustainability working group as part of Thriving in Difficult Times 2. We talked particularly about the need for CMDHB to measure its carbon footprint and by what percentage we can hope to reduce this over the coming year. More details will follow in a couple of weeks but I can tell you that the group has already received the suggestions staff put forward. Thanks again for your input.