In a Patient’s Own Words…

Among the many papers that cross my desk each day, I’m often delighted to find a letter of thanks from a patient or their family/whanau. Though I proudly believe in the high quality of care we provide for our patients, it’s always heartening to read about the quality of their experience in someone else’s words. It’s a reminder of just how well Team Counties does.

I want to share one of these letters with you today, exactly as we received it from a member of the public a few weeks ago.

“I would just like to write to you to express my gratitude regarding my stay at Middlemore Hospital in May 2011, although I was not in hospital due to good circumstances. I had the pleasure of being looked after by Dr Habib Rahman.

I was admitted into hospital on 1st May 2011 via the ambulance with a very serious bowel perforation. During the whole process right from the resus rooms in the Emergency Department to finally being moved into Ward 8, Mr Rahman looked after me and my family with the utmost respect and compassion I have ever seen. Mr Rahman explained everything to my family in a clear and easy to understand manner, even during the high pressured and emotional situations in the Intensive Care Unit. Mr Rahman has the most wonderful bedside manner which would put me at ease even with the most unnerving of news, including of which I remember in great detail the time in which he told me that I had barely survived on the surgical table during my first and most critical operation. During this first operation he would inform my family and fiancée of the critical information without giving false hope. During the process of the following six months Mr Rahman, and the team of Nurses in Ward 8, took great care of me as I underwent recovery, a small surgery for a wound closure after the wound broke down, and then my final surgery at the end of October when he was able to remove my temporary ileostomy and the remainder of a diseased bowel.

During my initial stay I was in hospital for a total of six weeks with the first week being in Intensive Care. My time in Intensive Care was intense to say the least, I must say as a patient I cannot speak highly enough about the work of the PAH team either, it felt like a nice handover from the one on one care etc in ICU and HDU to the wards.

would like to formally thank all the nurses, health care assistances on Ward 8. They made me feel at home during which was a stressful and unnerving time for myself and a learning process.

Lastly I cannot express my gratitude enough for the wonderful expertise of Dr Habib Rahman. I feel I owe my life to Dr Rahman, without his actions over the past six months especially on the afternoon of the 1st May 2011, I would not be here.

Thanks and kinds regards…”

Congratulations to Dr Rahman and all of the various staff and teams acknowledged in this letter. Your care of this patient and their family was outstanding and has clearly made a lasting impression on the person involved, who wrote to thank us many months later. Yet another satisfied patient leaving CMDHB care thanks to the aroha and compassion of our staff. Well done Team Counties.

On a different note, please don’t forget my ‘Coffee with the CEO’ hour coming up on March 30 at 10am in Room 101, Ko Awatea. I’d love to thank some of you in person for the amazing work that you do.



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.

2 thoughts on “In a Patient’s Own Words…”

  1. I just wanted to acknowledge the many good wishes and thank you cards that are displayed in our inpatient wards as well as all the verbal messages of thanks that our staff recieve on a daily basis. They may not cross the CEO’s (your) desk but are equally as important. My challenge to you (CEO)would be to think about how we can treat those “notes” with the same regard that this letter has recieved- as an organisation. And, that there is consistency in our celebration of our staff when we get it right!

    1. Thanks Erehi. You make a great point which I’m very pleased to note – that is that our staff regularly receive good wishes and thanks for their outstanding work. I do see some of the cards on my regular ward walkabouts but obviously if I don’t see particular thank you notes or hear about the verbal messages, I can’t refer to them at this level. So I’m going to ask Denise Kivell, our Director of Nursing for Hospital Services, to set up a system whereby we regularly pick a selection of the thanks we receive and then feed it through to me so that I can showcase them here in my blog. I’m always keen to acknowledge the hard work of our staff where possible so watch this space for more to come.


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