Descending into winter also means we are coming towards the end of the financial year. There’s no doubt that 2012/13 has been challenging, but even so we are on track for probably one of our best ever performances in terms of balancing our books and meeting our targets as a result of providing high quality healthcare.
Money and targets are one thing, but let’s not forget about the improvements we have made in terms of quality. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we’ve had the lowest standardised mortality rate for hospitals of our size and acuity in Australasia over the last six months. Our 20,000 Days campaign, to reduce demand on our hospital by giving back 20,000 well and healthy days to the community by July 1 this year, reached its target eight weeks ahead of schedule – a magnificent achievement that is making a real difference to the day-to-day operation of the hospital. We have been leading a national initiative to eradicate CLAB from New Zealand hospitals and working in other areas, such as falls prevention, to reduce harm to patients.
Meanwhile, we’re just months away from opening our impressive new Clinical Services Building. Every time I walk past it I’m reminded of how completely the Middlemore site has been transformed, with about half a billion dollars invested in the development of the hospital over the last few years. In the last three years, we’ve also saved about $60m by working more smartly. All of these are huge milestones that demonstrate how our commitment to quality is building into a bank of excellence that is continuing to pay dividends.
Next year promises to be even more challenging financially but given our track record I have every confidence that we can meet these challenges while continuing to deliver high quality healthcare. As you know, we established a Financial Sustainability Taskforce to better evaluate revenue and savings opportunities across the organisation in order to break even in 2013/14, while continuing to meet increasing demand and without reducing our services. The taskforce has spent the last few months talking to staff about ideas and has been sharing these at a second round of All Staff Forums this week (one was held at Ko Awatea on Tuesday and another is being held at Manukau SuperClinic this morning).
Thanks to the staff who attended these forums to hear about the progress the taskforce has made and details of the implementation phase. If you didn’t get the chance, we are repeating the forum at 12 – 1pm in Room 106, Ko Awatea on Friday June 14 ( a week today). I would encourage you to come along and hear what the taskforce has planned. It has identified initiatives which will save the organisation an estimated $45 million in 2013/14, but we won’t achieve that without your buy-in and continued commitment. I hope to see you there.