Suffering from Blogger’s Block

When I sat down to think about what to write about this week, I realised I’m suffering from a severe case of blogger’s block. Similar to writer’s block, the words just aren’t flowing and I’m struggling to put together some ideas for a post.

It’s not that I haven’t had a busy week. Reflecting on what I’ve been up to over the past few days, I realise I’ve spent a lot of my time in meetings having fascinating and detailed discussions about a diverse range of issues, from risk sharing with Primary Health Organisations to the governance of localities and whether or not they should be legal entities.

It’s all very important in terms of underpinning some of the major changes CMDHB is currently working through but it’s not necessarily the stuff great blog posts are made of. Like writing computer code, what I’ve been doing this week has been, at times, unexciting but necessary in order to bring about a fascinating, interesting and absorbing end result.

Given, then, the nature of my week, it was fantastic to sit in Ko Awatea and be surrounded by the posters on display for the Health Excellence Awards. As I read more about the innovative work that’s been happening on the ground to make a real difference to our day-to-day practise and the results we achieve for our patients, I realised inspiration for my blog was literally right in front of me!

The topics this year were diverse but some of the posters that particularly caught my eye were:
Reducing the pain of Bicillin injections in the Rheumatic Fever population of CMDHB – Kathryn Russell (Quality Improvement category)
A cost comparison analysis of bariatric surgery within an Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) programme or standard perioperative care (SPC) – Mary Burr (Quality Improvement category)
“Doctor said another 5 minutes and I would have been dead!” – A Regional Approach to Saving Heart Muscle After a Heart Attack – Deborah Hailstone (Quality Improvement category)
The evaluation of documentation in a nurse and medical post acute coronary syndrome discharge clinic – Chris Aldridge (Innovation category)
A Health and Well-being Workshop for House Officers: Focusing on Resilience and Positive Change – Mataroria Lyndon (Education category)
“Earn and Learn” Pacific Nursing Pilot 2011-2014 – Josephine Samuelu (Workforce Development category)

On top of the many magnificent posters, some staff also gave outstanding oral presentations for Science Fest on Wednesday. All in all, I was completely blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of all the entrants and the range of research and innovation which has been showcased this week.

I always find it really grounding to learn about such work and then get to thinking about how we might translate some of these ideas into widespread practise that will help us all work better. Each entry, be it a poster or an oral presentation, represents local initiatives by teams who are working to make a real difference to our patients. I’d like to thank all staff who contributed to an entry this year and in doing so demonstrated their commitment to continual improvement and innovation. Congratulations also to the winners who were named at last night’s Awards Dinner. Yet again I am very proud of Team Counties and all 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.

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