What a Response…

Wow – what an enthusiastic, supportive and absolutely overwhelming response to last week’s suggestion for staff to collectively lose 1000kg. I was blown away by your level of interest and the number of responses which flowed in to ceoblog@middlemore.co.nz. Thanks to everyone who emailed me and shared their hopes, dreams, challenges and fears. Clearly many of us are in the same boat.

So next Wednesday I’m meeting with our dietitians to discuss how we can set this up and how we can best support those of you who choose to join in with your weight loss. I’m absolutely committed to this aspect of staff wellness and want to make sure we have all the necessary support and advice available to help you with this. Following Wednesday’s discussion, I’ll then find a date to have a launch event. I’m not suggesting anything over the top – just an event for those of us who are interested to come along, get support and encouragement from others, and register our starting weights. I propose we lose our collective weight by August 31st, giving us at least five months to achieve our goal before showcasing this success at the Asia Pacific Forum (APAC) in Ko Awatea in September. I also look forward to posting pictures of me jumping out of a plane right here on my blog in September.

Getting back below 100kg (the weight limit for parachute jumps) and jumping out of a plane are two goals I’m looking terribly forward to ticking off my personal bucket list. To those of you who’ve already indicated your interest in this challenge, and to those who may be considering taking part, it would be great to hear what items you’ll be ticking off your own bucket list as a result of losing weight. I’m the first to admit I find weight loss challenging but I also see this as a great opportunity for us all to achieve some personal goals and have some fun along the way.

On a different note, in my blog at the end of January I talked about why we need to change the way we work in response to the growing and changing demand on our health system. I mentioned that we’re on a four year journey called Achieving a Balance during which time we’ll focus on two strategic objectives – building a Sustainable health system and delivering Excellence in health care. By December next year, we will have implemented a range of plans to deliver against these strategic objectives. Each strategic intervention will have specific measurable outcomes to enable us to track our progress through to December 2013 and beyond.

We’re not alone on this journey. All health systems face the same challenges to achieve sustainability while being excellent in an increasingly difficult fiscal environment. Here’s a link to an article from an international think tank that comments on these very issues.

CMDHB is changing. We’ve grown from a small intimate service provider to a large and complex organisation, in fact the largest employer in Counties Manukau. While it’s essential that we retain our DNA and what makes us Team Counties, we can’t keep working the way we were when Middlemore and CMDHB were smaller and more intimate places. Instead we need to change how we go about making decisions; managing, prioritising and allocating our effort; and measuring our success.

The update on this is that we’re currently doing a stock take of the various work programmes underway at CMDHB to understand how our current activity is aligned with our two strategic objectives. We’re also doing a stock take of our meetings to help us understand how they support our decision making. We expect to get results in the next month or so.

The end result is that this process should help declutter your time, create greater clarity around the organisation’s decision-making processes and allow decisions to be made as close as possible to the front line. I don’t want to slow down what we’re doing but actually allow you to improve your focus and increase our pace over time. You’re too busy to waste time in unproductive meetings or doing work which duplicates what’s gone before. If we are going to have time to care, we don’t have time to waste.



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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