Keeping well this winter

While we are experiencing a relatively mild early winter, we must not be complacent about the risks of influenza. We currently have two people in our ICU suffering severely from influenza and we have had two deaths so far. And this is before winter really breathes down our necks. There is every sign of influenza ramping up in the South Island and experience tells us it will work its way north to us. It appears that H1N1 is the main culprit and this is indeed the nasty beast which played havoc in the last northern winter.

Before we can properly care for our patients, we do need to care for ourselves. This includes an annual influenza vaccine. We did much better last year than in previous years. Last year we managed to achieve 3rd best in the country for staff influenza immunisations. This year we are tracking slightly behind this but there is still time for staff to get a free vaccine at Occupational Health. I do ask you to do this as the vaccine is proven and effective. And please do urge your patients to get immunised which is free for most of them until the end of July. 1.7 million New Zealanders have been immunised so far this year, but we know a lot of vulnerable people in our community have not taken up the offer, afraid because of misconceptions around the vaccine causing influenza or just not being advised to by their medical professionals.

I would like to congratulate the SuperClinic for a record 700 plus doses of influenza vaccine administered there up until the middle of last month. Five vaccinators have achieved this tally, and have managed to get a lot of patients as they wait for appointments.

I would like to also take this opportunity to thank all staff who work so hard when the double whammy of staff illness meets increased hospital attendance and illness in our community.






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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