Generating International Interest

It seems we’re up and running with MiddleNOmore – participants have lost 39.1kg so far. Thanks to everyone who’s signed up for our 1000kg weight loss challenge and to those who have helped us lose almost 5% of our target already. It’s a great start. Don’t forget to update your weight on a weekly basis through the Physiopac site so that we can keep an eye on our progress. As promised, I’ll be updating you on this through my blog every week.

As for my own weight loss, I’m down about 2kg so far which isn’t too bad, especially as I’ve just had two weeks overseas. Anybody who’s travelled knows how bad trips are when you’re trying to lose weight and make positive lifestyle changes. But I’m back with a vengeance and looking forward to watching our collective weight loss creep up towards the 1000kg mark.

Part of my time overseas was spent at what was probably the second largest healthcare conference in the world run by our Boston-based partners, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). It was a valuable trip and I’m keen to share some of the highlights with you.

In the conference’s opening presentation, IHI President Maureen Bisognano profiled leading initiatives in global healthcare provision. Among those she singled out for special mention as potential world leaders in influencing health policy were Ko Awatea and Whanau Ora – amazing acknowledgements on the world stage for CMDHB and New Zealand.

Other examples of leading-edge innovation were also discussed, among them a hospital in Illinois which is leading the way in addressing the obesity epidemic through a staff-led weight loss challenge, just like our MiddleNOmore. Then McLaren Racing, of Formula One fame, spoke about the importance of having an information centre to bring together everything the team needed to know in one place. They didn’t know of anyone doing that in healthcare until I mentioned our very own Middlemore Central. We also heard a lot about how the future of healthcare lies in being able to coordinate care better right across the system and grounding it in local areas where patients live. This, of course, resonates with the work we’re already doing around localities planning.

Finally, hospitals which have reduced harm from falls, central line associated bacteraemia (CLAB) and pressure injuries were showcased. I was reminded of the incredible work going on at Middlemore Hospital with the Aiming for Zero Patient Harm campaign, which is focused on these very things. I’d particularly like to acknowledge our programme leads Gill Cossey and Mary Seddon, and the clinical leads and quality improvement facilitators involved in this work: Simon Kerr and Michelle Askew (falls); Heather Lewis and Ria Byron (pressure injuries); Stephen McBride and Ian Hutchby (hand hygiene); Anne Blumgart and Hayden Tseng (Venous ThromboEmbolism); Kirstyn Albrecht and Ria Byron (dignified and safe handling of patients); Mary Seddon and Catherine Hocking (CLAB); Michele Carson and Hayden Tseng (patient misidentification); Debbie Eastwood and Sneha Shetty (measurement and costing); and Wendy Turner and Ian Hutchby (environmental cleaning).

These are just a few highlights from the conference, where it became clear to me how closely showcased examples of emerging best practise around the globe align with the work we are already doing at CMDHB. It goes without saying that this made me immensely proud. By global comparison, CMDHB is a truly progressive organisation that is not just tackling the challenges facing healthcare around the world but which is also in the vanguard of making change happen.

Added to this international recognition are the great accolades that have been flowing in at home while I’ve been away. In the New Zealand Herald recently was an article about elective surgery, which clearly acknowledged that CMDHB is taking a national lead in delivering elective services. We’ve had a few fantastic pieces on One News, including a recent piece about hand reconstruction surgery. And we’ve been most fortunate to have Sir Mansel Aylward with us as our first visiting chair at Ko Awatea.

More than ever excellence is a team game and I think you should all be exceptionally proud of what you do here in Counties Manukau. I understand that we don’t always get everything right but I think what makes us who we are is the restlessness we have to constantly seek to do better. Never being satisfied with what we do really helps us improve care, which takes me back to why South Auckland is beginning to be talked about internationally. I think it’s because we have fantastically committed and capable staff who are focused on working together as a team to the highest professional standards. As ever I’m extremely proud of all that you achieve and it’s my privilege as CEO to follow you.



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.

3 thoughts on “Generating International Interest”

  1. Hi Geriant, any chance you could direct me to the mention of our health care programmes in Maureen Bisognano’s speech? I’ve watched the video but couldn’t find the reference.

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