Coping with the post-holiday blues

Coming back to work from holiday last week, I was struck by the number of articles relating to returning to work and not suffering from post-holiday depression in the process. According to the Herald (so it must be true!) an awful lot of us do not take our full leave entitlement each year because we feel too busy. I personally think this is a recipe for disaster. The leave we need to take is for a purpose. It allows us to recharge the batteries both mentally and physically. Further, it gives us reflection time…time to reflect on what worked well for us in the past year, what didn’t and what we can do about it. This goes for both our professional and our personal lives. Getting the right work/life balance is critical for our home and work lives.

Continue reading “Coping with the post-holiday blues”


Pushing an open door

It’s been over two years since the first campaign (20,000 Days) began, initiated in response to increasing demands on resources across the system. It’s been a remarkable journey and while the 20,000 Days campaign was successful in giving back 23,060 healthy and well days to our community, Beyond 20,000 Days has continued to build on this success, with 16 collaborative teams working across the system to anticipate and prevent acute health problems, respond quickly and effectively in the community and provide timely and safe care to people admitted to hospital.

Both campaigns have had a profound effect on the patients and families involved. Patients like Mike, who joined the Healthy Hearts: Fit to Exercise programme, following a heart attack. Mike has now turned his life around. He is fitter, healthier and more confident. Earlier this year Mike completed Round the Bays with other Fit to Exercise participants.

And who can forget George from the first campaign, who with the help of the Very High Intensity User (VHIU) team went from 28 admissions in one year down to three admissions the following year.

The importance of these health and lifestyle gains for patients and their family/whaanau cannot be overstated

Continue reading “Pushing an open door”

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.

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Celebrating our Everyday Heroes

Driving into Middlemore the other day, I couldn’t fail to notice the billboards that stand at either end of the hospital campus which were expressing 365 days of thanks to our staff. I was very pleased to note that diolch, which is Welsh for thank you, was right there alongside the many other languages our diverse workforce represents.

The billboards also got me thinking – how do we celebrate the extraordinary everyday efforts of our staff? As many of you will be aware, I’ve been blogging now for almost 3 years. It’s proven to be a really useful tool for me to both share some of what I’m thinking about and also hear your thoughts on key issues for our organisation. But I want to start using this blog for another purpose. Continue reading “Celebrating our Everyday Heroes”

A Heartfelt Thank You

Dr Lee Mathias, Chair
Dr Lee Mathias, Chair

As 2013 comes to a close, I am joined today by the new Chair of our Board, Dr Lee Mathias. Some of you may not yet have met Dr Mathias, but she is delighted to be appointed as Chair and to be joining the vibrant team at CM Health.  Already, she has observed different and innovative approaches to healthcare provision and is looking forward to being part of that progress in 2014. Continue reading “A Heartfelt Thank You”

The True Colours of Team Counties

One of the fun things I get to do as CEO is attend events, including the many blessings we have held recently for parts of the new Harley Gray Building (CSB) at Middlemore Hospital. During my tenure at CM Health, I’ve been to countless blessings but one I attended recently really stands out from the rest. I’m talking, of course, about the blessing for the new home of our Non Clinical Support Services staff. Continue reading “The True Colours of Team Counties”

Just another day at Counties Manukau Health

This is a tough time of year. We’re not just battling the doom, gloom and demand of winter, but we’re also approaching the end of the financial year and are busy locking and loading next year’s budget. I think that those two things together always make this time of year one of the hardest and busiest.

The great news is that we will end 2012/13 very strongly, having delivered more patient care than ever, more safely than ever and in a more patient centred way, all while balancing our books. This fantastic result is testament to your hard work, diligence and effort, and something you can all feel rightly proud of. Continue reading “Just another day at Counties Manukau Health”