The Year Ahead

Happy New Year. Thanks to those who held the fort by working through the break, and to the rest, I hope you had a restful Christmas season. I have to admit feeling slightly cheated when, having put up with three weeks of rain, I arrived back at work last Monday to be greeted by sunshine out the window! But these things happen and I was lucky enough to have a really good break which has left me looking very forward to all that is in store in 2012.

It promises to be a really exciting year at CMDHB with lots of positive change heading our way. As I said before Christmas, there’ll be lots of exciting developments in our work with primary care, particularly focussed on taking pressure off the hospital through the Saving 20,000 Bed Days campaign. We’ll also see the growth of the Clinical Services Building this year, with most of the building taking place in the next 12 months ahead of the opening in late 2013. This progress will bring us a lot closer to having a truly 21st century hospital at Middlemore. And, as ever, we will continue to invest in staff as a fundamental part of how we deliver worldclass healthcare.

The tradition at this time of the year is to take stock and set objectives for the months ahead so I’d by really interested to find out what you think CMDHB’s New Year’s resolutions should be. What are the things that you’d like to see happen? What would you like us to stop doing? What would really improve your quality of working life? Email me at and let’s come up with our own set of resolutions (that we keep through till 2013 of course!)

On that note, thanks again for all the comments I received in response to my blog last year. They didn’t go un-noticed. In fact, in a couple of weeks I hope to make some big announcements resulting directly from the suggestions you made. Watch this space!

Speaking of feedback, I’m very keen for this blog to be more than words. The next step is for it to become a really meaningful way to share – your thoughts as well as mine. I hope this year staff and the wider community will engage and enter into discussion which can lead to action and help our organisation improve.

Next week I want to talk to you about the changes we‘re facing and how they link together. While people are really excited about all the work we’re doing, some have said they’d like to get a sense from me about how it all adds up to the bigger picture. So, next week I’ll be painting that picture for you and, hopefully, beginning to give you an idea of where you fit and the very important role you will play.

Hopefully you’ve read an email I sent out last week about our progress in setting up a transition team to help manage the change ahead of us at CMDHB. One of the team’s key objectives is to ensure we don’t spend money on poor decision making and, instead, put as many resources as possible towards better patient care. I want to point out that this team won’t lead to an increase in managerial costs as it’s important we keep these under control. The team should help put a really effective decision making structure in place so staff are empowered to make decisions rather than relying on a long chain of committees. The team’s work should make life simpler for you, put you more in charge, and contribute towards our efforts to improve your working life. 

Of course, as we move to being one of the largest employers in Counties Manukau with a $1b turnover (which would make us one of the biggest companies in New Zealand), the challenge is to ensure we retain our ‘can-do’ culture within this bigger, more formal framework. How do we make sure that we keep the sense of everybody knowing everybody and being one team? How do we take CMDHB to the next phase of its evolution while keeping our unique identity? There are certainly plenty of challenges ahead in 2012.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Dr Gloria Johnson, our new Chief Medical Officer for Hospital Services who started earlier this month. Gloria was previously the CMO at Northland DHB and brings with her a huge wealth of experience as well as a great deal of energy and a fresh pair of eyes.

I’m also pleased to announce the return of Margie Apa. Many of you will remember Margie as our former General Manager – Pacific before she joined the Ministry of Health as Deputy Director General. On her return to CMDHB next month, Margie will be the lead for Strategic Development and will bring many of the skills she’s developed at the Ministry to us and our community.

Finally, I’d like to say how much I’m looking forward to working with you all over this coming year. I’m really confident that this will be an exciting and fun year for us at CMDHB. Even after five years in this role, I still have to pinch myself that I’m lucky enough to be part of the best team I’ve yet worked with in my career.



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.

4 thoughts on “The Year Ahead”

  1. Also it would be great to have a page on who is leaving/starting in the organisation on a weekly basis and have a photo of each staff with the phone directory. We are so big that it would be very helpful and other big government organisations have this in place already.

    1. Thanks Christina. We are currently revamping our HR department and conducted interviews for our new HR General Manager yesterday. I think this is a great idea for our new GM to pick up once they are appointed. I will forward your request on. Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for the update, Geraint. It would be really useful to have easy access to a dynamic organisation chart with the names of those appointed to the roles in the new structure. This way we could keep track of progress CMDHB is making towards the primary/secondary integration.

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