Sustainability and Excellence – Part 2

Earlier this week, I held a couple of staff forums in Ko Awatea to talk about where CMDHB is heading strategically and the role of staff in helping us get there. Thanks to those of you who came along. If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry. This new direction will shape our way of working for the next few years, and beyond, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to have your say and get involved.

I’d also like to use today’s blog post to bring people who couldn’t make it up to speed.

As you know, over the last couple of months, CMDHB’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT) has been taking a look at where we need to go as an organisation. I’ve been sharing a lot of the thinking that has come out of that group with you through this blog so it should come as no surprise that our two strategic objectives going forward are Sustainability and Excellence, and that we’re aiming to become the best healthcare system in Australasia by 2015.

What we mean by Sustainability is ensuring we’ve developed a health system which enables us to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place. In particular, this means developing an integrated approach to health services that will build on primary and community services so that people can get treated at home or in the community where appropriate rather than coming into hospital. This, in turn, will allow us at Middlemore to concentrate on providing the high quality complex care that the hospital is equipped for.

When I refer to Excellence, I know there are already lots of examples of excellence throughout the DHB but we want to link them up and start making sure that everybody experiences them, every day.

This week’s staff forums were the first in a series of conversations I want to have with the organisation over the coming weeks to identify how we achieve these objectives, and to get your ideas and your input into how we shape our journey so that it becomes relevant for you and you see your part to play. Members of the ELT will be taking the presentation to everybody in the organisation so that we can all be informed and get involved. Staff can also find the presentation on the new ‘Achieving the Balance’ website, linked from the front page of SouthNET.

The kinds of questions we need your feedback on are: how would you define a sustainable and excellent health service? What would excite you? What will we have to do in order to be the best healthcare system in Australasia? What would this look like? How would we measure it? Perhaps we strive to ensure we eradicate Central Line Associated Bacteraemia from the DHB? Or we aim for zero hospital-acquired pressure injuries? Or we redesign how we work so that acute surgery isn’t overloaded? This really is your opportunity to tell us what we need to change in order to be sustainable and excellent every day.

In the presentation you’ll see that we’ve identified six executable strategies that will give us a focus and change how we work as a health system. All of the work we do will be based around those six streams so everybody will be able to see how their work helps make us sustainable and excellent. Many of you will have heard the story about President John F Kennedy during his visit to NASA in the 1960s. The President came across a man with a broom and asked him what his role at the space centre was, to which the man replied that he was helping put a man on the moon. In the same way, I hope that it will become clear to everybody that you all have a very valuable role to play every day in helping CMDHB develop a sustainable and excellent healthcare system.

Can I take this opportunity to wish everybody a Happy Easter and, for those of us who are having a break, a restful and relaxing time. We’ve had an overwhelming response to the MiddleNOmore weight loss challenge so hopefully we can all resist the temptation of chocolate easter eggs. As I promised I would do, I can tell you I’ve lost 1.25 kgs this week after six days of watching my portions and cutting out unhealthy foods. So far, so good! I’ll keep you updated with CMDHB’s progress towards our 1000kg goal once results start coming through.

I’m also away for the next few weeks but there’ll still be some interesting blog posts to read right here, about work happening within CMDHB and in the community. Also, if you haven’t already seen them, Jonathon Gray’s started a blog called Transformation Essentials, while our ELT yesterday started a ‘Team Counties’ blog to tell you more each week about the work they’re doing to help us become the best healthcare system in Australasia by 2015.

See you in a few weeks,



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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