Being at our best for our people, whaanau, families and each other

Dr Lee Mathias
Dr Lee Mathias, Chair CM Health

Our board chair, Dr Lee Mathias, joins me today to say a few words on behalf of the board, and to thank you, our staff, for the valuable contributions that you make.

I have been Chair of CM Health for almost two years and have witnessed, along with my fellow board members an ongoing transformation of our organisation – not just around the way we work, and the care we provide, but how we have grown as a health system. With a skilled, motivated and passionate workforce, ready and able to tackle the health challenges of the people living in Counties Manukau, it’s not surprising we have seen some truly innovative and game-changing initiatives.

We have provided increasingly high quality care, continued to meet our six health targets (shorter stays in hospital, improved access to elective surgery, faster cancer treatment, increased immunisation, better help for smokers to quit and more heart and diabetes checks), while introducing innovative initiatives, to improve the way we work and provide care.  The board is extremely proud of the progress we have made.

An important project this year has been the strategy and values refresh. Over the past six months you have shared your ideas and insights as to how we can consistently be at our best for our people, whaanau, families and each other, and the choices we need to make to progress our ambition to work together to achieve health equity. Your feedback has helped to shape a draft strategic plan and the new values for the organisation, which were signed off by the board on 29 July. This is a significant step for CM Health and builds on the fantastic work completed over the last five years. Your ideas will be used to continue the conversations and further shape a more detailed action plan for our strategy, and focus on embedding our new values into our everyday work.

Staff from Pacific Health contribute their ideas on the strategic plan
Staff from Pacific Health contribute their ideas on the strategic plan

This is the first time CM Health has embarked on a co-design approach to developing its strategy and values with staff and consumers, and it has been a very rewarding and valuable process. What stood out for my fellow board members and I was the level of engagement on the strategy and values refresh from staff, patients and whaanau. Over two thousand people provided feedback through face to face meetings, Hui’s, Talanoa’s, social media and surveys. It was a remarkable effort, which tells me that people want to be involved and are ready for a change. I heard that people, truly care about being part of an organisation that is ‘values centred’ and where the aspirations of people matter.   It’s an exciting time and a great opportunity to get things right for the future.

It was interesting to note that Health Equity – achieving equal health outcomes across our diverse communities, came up as being very important to most of you. Health equity can mean different things to different people, so we are currently seeking advice from leaders and experts on what this means for our population and what it looks like in a practical way over the next 5-10 years.

There is great work going on across CM Heath, and while this work will continue, the Healthy Together strategy will build on our achievements and provide the umbrella that brings all our work together in a cohesive and understandable way. This includes all of the work around Community Health Service Integration, such as ARI (At Risk Individuals) and how projects like SWIFT can support and enable the improvement work that needs to happen.   Bringing these together will make us more unified and stronger as a health system and, as a result, will help set the priorities for the coming years to make significant progress towards achieving health equity.

Linked closely to the strategy are our values. They are an essential part of providing great care and a great experience at work.   It’s interesting that over half of the people who were spoken to, said a good day was as simple as someone noticing them, smiling, appreciating their work and saying thank you. For many people, a bad day was caused by poor behaviour from a colleague i.e. someone being rude, harsh or disrespectful.   What struck me was how we have the power within ourselves to change this behaviour.

I look forward to the next phase of embedding our new values into our everyday work and releasing the ‘Living Our Values’ framework. A number of activities have been planned to support this, including an Embedding Our Values Week scheduled for 19-23 October. Our new values and strategy will be launched on 10 September, so please don’t miss the big unveiling. I look forward to seeing you all there.

While it’s going to be a busy time over the next few months, we are several steps closer to becoming the best healthcare system in Australasia. The wonderful thing about the future is that you helped make it happen. It will be a legacy we can leave for future generations.

On behalf of the board many thanks for everything that you do.

Dr Lee Mathias

Chair CM Health

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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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