Taking Stock

It was a delight to welcome the 1.5 millionth Aucklander at Middlemore Hospital on Wednesday. The birth of Ramonah Patience Toomalatai really reinforced what a vibrant and growing community we have, both here in Counties Manukau and in Auckland city.

It also made think about the fact that I’ve recently turned 50.

I suppose this milestone is one of the times in your life when you take stock. Curiously, I don’t actually feel any older than when I was 25 but it does seem like an appropriate point to reflect on what has happened and my goals for the year ahead.

One of my main objectives over the past year has been to really take control of my health. I remember reading an article in The Herald last year and realising with shock that I weighed the same as All Black John Afoa. Something had to change.

It was also important to me to model the kind of behaviour CMDHB promotes and encourages in our community. Obesity is a very real issue for our community and I wanted to support our efforts to change that by first changing myself.  

So over the past year, I’ve lost 20kg by eating and drinking less, and moving more. I’m thrilled that I’m now closer to Richie McCaw, in weight at least!

20kg lighter and feeling good

But I still have another 8kg to lose before I’m light enough to fulfil one of my lifelong ambitions – a 12,000 foot parachute jump. Although I want nothing more than to throw myself out of a plane and achieve this goal, I just can’t shift that last bit of weight. The number on the scales isn’t moving.

Does anybody have any suggestions (surgery not included)? I need your advice…

My last blog post – Sustanability and Excellence – was also a way of taking stock and outlining for you the journey CMDHB will be on over the next four years. I’ve overheard some corridor conversations around this but wonder whether this really set the context for you in a way that was meaningful or whether it has opened up a can of worms and generated more questions… Either way, if you have thoughts about it, drop me an email on ceoblog@middlemore.co.nz.

Many of you are also going to be interested in how the health system in New Zealand is evolving generally. Take a look at the Ministry of Health website where you’ll find the briefing given to the incoming Minister of Health. It tells the story of where the health system is going in the next few years and gives you an idea of the environment we will be pursuing our own change agenda in.

As you know, I’m always keen to hear more from you and have conversations across all levels of the organisation. In particular, I’m really interested to hear from staff about our communications going forward and whether they’re delivered in a relevant and useful way. It’s really important to me and to the work we’re doing that we get everybody onboard.

So I’m proposing I hold a regular ‘Coffee with the CEO’ hour in Ko Awatea. As many of you know, I already use Ko Awatea’s atrium as my office when I’m at Middlemore but I want to go one step further and put on morning or afternoon tea on a regular basis for any member of staff who wants to come and say hello. I’ll find a space and put on some coffee and buns but I’m counting on you to come and eat them (otherwise I will, and then I’ll never get to do my parachute jump!)

More details soon. Have a great week.


PS: For those that missed it, check out TV3’s piece on our new laparoscopic simulator, or LapSim. Thanks to the Lion Foundation, the new simulator in CTEC is helping change the way we train obstetric and gynaecology staff. Great stuff.


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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