Tis the season to “RE”!

While I am looking forward to spending the holidays with family and friends, I must say I’m mostly looking forward to having time out to myself to rest, refresh and read the growing pile of books I’ve been keen to get to. We should rename this season as the season to “RE”! REfresh, REnew, REinvent, REvise, REflect, RE-energise, REbalance, REassess….. get the picture? However you choose to celebrate and take time out, I hope you enjoy the break. When you come back next year I’ll be asking for your help on a few important pieces of work.

Final year of “Best” Next year, will see the final year of our current strategic goal to be “the best healthcare system in Australasia by December 2015”. We started our integration journey in 2010 and we have achieved a lot in the past four years. With this in mind I will be asking for your REflections on what makes us the best – is it the care we give, our compassion, our culture or our innovative ideas and quality improvement? If you have a story to tell – we want to hear about it. I’d also like to share your stories wider – with our community and the healthcare sector.

Strategy Refresh At the same time we will evaluate whether we’ve achieved our goals to be the “Best”, while looking ahead to 2020 and a refreshed strategic plan. The word “REfresh” is deliberate – our roles and functions have not changed, and the Government has indicated no major change to the arrangements of DHBs. Therefore, our fundamental direction isn’t changing and we will stay close to our Triple Aim i.e. we exist to improve and protect population health, improve experience of patients and ensure best value for public services.

When I reflect back on my time here at CM Health, I am so proud of our “can do” attitude. Our willingness to test and trial innovative approaches make us one of the most innovative and high performing DHBs in the country. Recently, however, staff tell me they have so much going on that it is difficult to see how they ‘fit in’ with where we are heading. With this in mind, what would you say if the next five years could be about focus, discipline on doing the essential and critical things important to improving the health of our community? It would be good to get your thoughts.

There is little value in having innovation and change when they do not help us achieve our goals. We want to give back to our community more healthy life years and achieve this through a refresh of our Triple Aim – we will share a draft strategic plan next year called “Healthy Together 2020”. We will also share what the existing data tells us about what the next five years may look like (e.g. population demographic changes, our funding pathway, capital investment and model of care changes). We will be asking for your views on how we respond as a team.

Values Refresh: Did you know our organisational values are more than 14 years old!? A lot has changed since 2000 when they were first developed and I will be asking for your advice on whether the current set are still relevant, and if not, what you think they should be. Why are values important? Most management gurus (Kotter, Heskett) say that values are an important part of a high performance organisation if they are shared and accepted by everyone. Values shape culture and the way we do things. Values are important to me, because like most of us who work at Counties Manukau we have a passion for service to our community. I would like your views on how we align those values to how we work together and provide a workplace environment that supports you to do your best.

Once again thanks to all staff for an amazing effort this year.  I’d especially like to acknowledge the work the Infection Control Team did to ensure we are fully prepared to accept Ebola patients.  And to the many staff who enthusiastically stepped forward and underwent training.

The CEO blog will be on holiday now for a few weeks, resuming again in late January. Until then, I wish you a restful and relaxing festive season with your loved ones, and look forward to all we will achieve together in 2015


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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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