A tough time of the year

There’s always that time of the year when things seem particularly tough. It’s usually in the winter months, when the hospital is busy, it’s cold and wet outside, and there is only one  public holiday to look forward to until Christmas. This time of year can be really hard and I’m incredibly humbled and blown away by how well team counties steps up to the mark, rain, hail and shine and gets the job done. In times of immense pressure, like the last few days, staff continue to provide excellent services to people, who come through our doors. I’d just like to say many thanks for the great job that you do.

While we are incredibly good at providing care to others, winter is also a time when we feel our most vulnerable due to coughs and sneezes. If we do manage to escape the bugs, it’s usually a member of our family who isn’t so lucky. While I can’t make the winter go away I can encourage you to look after yourself. If you have ever watched an aeroplane safety video, it recommends that you buckle yourself in first, or in the case of an emergency, put on your own oxygen mask, before helping others. The same message applies here. By looking after ourselves, we are in a much better position to look after others, so that means getting enough rest, eating well, and staying active. And if you need something exciting to look forward to, it’s only 23 days until the rugby world cup. So hang in there – I hope we all have something to celebrate pretty soon!


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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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