Sharing our Learnings

One of the ways I think we can measure our success in becoming a leading healthcare organisation is when people from around New Zealand and around the world choose to come and learn from us. That’s not to suggest we get everything right or that we will ever stop learning ourselves. But for all that, there has been some exciting progress recently.

Firstly there is the ongoing interest in my earlier blog post with Dr Mary Seddon on medical errors. That post generated a hugely positive response and lots of constructive discussion around our approach to clinical safety. There have been many interesting conversations with clinicians over coffee in Ko Awatea recently.

Also this week, CMDHB hosted all district health board CEOs alongside Ministry of Health representatives for the National CEOs’ meeting. It was a great opportunity for us to showcase the work we’ve been doing around clinical safety, clinical engagement, clinical governance and innovation. At the same time, we held a national collaborative event to establish the use of the CLAB bundle to avoid Central Line Associated Bacteraemia. CMDHB is demonstrating to other district health boards how the introduction of the CLAB bundle is significantly reducing patient harm. And finally, we had a surgeon from Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital here to learn how we organise our acute surgical patients. These were all wonderful opportunities to showcase what we’re doing and both share with, and learn from, others.

There are also moments when it’s important to recognise that we don’t always get it right. On Monday I met with Orthopaedics to discuss how we can improve their teaching facilities following the demolition of the old Academic Lecture Theatre. Our Orthopaedic Department is recognised nationally for its teaching programme and I want to make sure that we continue to support them so that they can maintain and improve that reputation.

One area we need to ensure we get right is our Smokefree policy. Yesterday our Smokefree team started a campaign to remind patients, visitors and staff that all of our sites are smokefree, including the grounds of Middlemore Hospital. This complements the great work many of you do every day to offer smokefree support to patients who smoke when they are admitted, which is helping us move ever closer towards achieving that particular national health target. I’d really like to stamp out the smoking that continues around our sites and do what we can to support our staff, our patients and our visitors to quit. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in New Zealand and reducing smoking rates in Counties Manukau would go a long way towards improving the health of our community.

Recently, we’ve observed the first 100 days of Ko Awatea. I’ve blogged a lot about using Ko Awatea as CMDHB’s ‘strategic brain’ – the place where we work together with a sense of collegiality as Team Counties to begin to redesign how the system works. You may be interested in this video, which gives a real sense of how far we’ve come in the comparatively short time Ko Awatea has been open.

Ko Awatea – The first 100 days from baz caitcheon on Vimeo.

The critical thing for me about the journey we are on is that we must always involve, engage and invest in the front line if we want to enable you to take our standards ever higher. This is why we are investing so much in developing staff and why I underline my commitment to you all that that investment in you, the most important part of CMDHB, will continue come rain or shine.

Speaking of investing in the future, I learned this week that in October, CMDHB recycled 1.4 tonne of paper and generated 14.4 tonne of secure destruction paper and cardboard. It’s enough to fill more than half a shipping container! As CMDHB starts to think more about going green and how we can reduce our impact on the environment, I’m really pleased that I’m writing a blog – a great way to communicate with staff and the wider community without using paper.

Have a great 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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