Taking stock

As we approach the end of the financial year, it’s important to look back on the past 12 months and reflect on how far we have come as an organisation. It’s been a busy and challenging year and despite the growing demands on our time, resources and services we continue to be a high performing organisation. This is backed up by the fact that we continue to see over 95% of our patients within 6 hours in Emergency Care and have treated 13% more elective patients than last year. This is a testament to the hard work and amazing effort by everyone involved.

I’m a great believer that if we can make our resources go a little bit further, to ensure that people get their operations then we should. As a result 13% more people now have the operations they so badly need. We are also maintaining incredibly high standards of quality of service across the organisation, with our fall rates, use of the surgical check list, cross infection rates and standardisation hospital mortality rates, all at sector leading levels. Again this is to your credit.

It goes without saying that an organisation is only as strong as the people who work in it and I’m incredibly proud of what some of our staff have achieved. This includes our exceptional pharmacy team, who received 12 awards last year, our Volunteers at the Manukau SuperClinic and Surgery Centre, who received a runners-up award at the 2014 Minister of Health Volunteers Awards and Kathie Smith, Service Manager who was awarded a Queen’s Birthday honours ONZM for her services to people with arthritis. This is just a snap shot of the amazing people who work at CM Health and there are many more ‘everyday heroes’ who are heads down, getting on with the job and going the extra mile.  

We have also had some fun, with events such as Pasifika and Matariki, which attracted a big turnout. For a few days each year we get to experience a carnival atmosphere, where people come together to celebrate the colourful and diverse cultures we have at CM Health. I always go away from these events a lot happier and energised from when I arrived and with everyone working so hard, it’s important to inject some joy and laughter into our day.

On another positive note we are finishing the year in the strongest financial position, nationally and that’s due to our team counties approach. Every year you have worked methodically to improve quality, reduce costs and work smarter. And every year, we create an environment where people feel empowered to improve patient care and the way they work. I have always been hugely impressed with how much we have been able to do by just working smarter.

The results can be seen in the improvement work taking place across our organisation, some of which is achieving national and international recognition.

For example the At Risk Individuals (ARI) programme, has been described by Benedict Hefford, Director of Primary Health as one of the biggest integrated care projects, that’s currently being attempted by a health system anywhere. Then we have the 20,000 Days and Beyond 20,000 Days Campaign, which recently celebrated its success and more recently Project SWIFT (System Wide Information For Transformation), which is being watched by organisations around the world. All of this work is focused around system wide transformational change, so that we can provide improved services for our patients and the community we serve.

The fact that international organisations such as IBM want to work with us on Project SWIFT reflects back on what it means to be a world class organisation. To me world class is when people come to you to find out how we do things at CM Health and I think we will be seeing more of this in the future. We can all be incredibly proud of the reputation we have built up, not just locally but around the world.

Science Fest was a huge success this year and a testament to the innovative work and research being carried out in our organisation – in fact in the past year research has increased by 25%. This speaks to the ability for us to create the head space for people to work in this area, but also the commitment, hunger and appetite that people have for improving services and patient care.

As an organisation we have an incredible amount to be proud of and while there is still more work to be done, there is an incredible feeling of power and satisfaction in just stopping for a moment and taking stock of what we have achieved. As we cope with the pressures of winter and the extra demands, please know that your efforts are greatly appreciated, valued and admired.

As ever, being CEO of the organisation makes me incredibly proud and humbled by the care, compassion the professionalism and frankly just the sheer brilliance of you all.



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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