Each year over 100 people in NZ are diagnosed with spinal cord injuries, resulting in a life- long connection with the health system. Until now health organisations in NZ haven’t had a record of all spinal patients, but that’s about to change with the introduction of a national registry, launched by ACC Minister Nikki Kaye on 1st August 2016.
Counties Manukau Health is going from strength to strength. No matter how tough it gets we’re performing well on a national scale and have worked hard to maintain a strong financial future. To perform well in the future however we need to be ahead of the game. Healthy Together 2020 outlines a plan to transform the way we deliver quality healthcare to our growing and aging population across Counties Manukau. The work undertaken by Project SWIFT last year helped us identify how IT can support that transformation by assisting and improving the way health practitioners and care providers deliver services to patients and communities.
“There needs to be compassion and humanity – professionals need to think about the impact of their words and actions.” Mental Health Service user
A wise man once told me told me, you can’t have health without mental health, and I’m a firm believer that we should prioritise mental health alongside physical health, and not treat them as separate issues. In New Zealand, an estimated one in three people cope with a mental health condition at any one time – of that number, approximately one in five people in Counties Manukau seek support and care for their mental health needs. Many of these people also suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart failure, and if you have a mental health condition, you are three times more likely to experience an avoidable hospital admission.
In terms of addictions, it is estimated that one in ten people use drugs and/or alcohol, with approximately 10,000 people in Counties experiencing harmful effects as a result, and in need of treatment.
We know the current mental health and addictions system is fragmented – that’s why the Mental Health Service at CM Health is embarking on a programme of work to transform the MH&A (Mental Health and Addiction) system. Through better integration and intervening early to keep people well, people using MH&A services will have an improved experience and better health outcomes. We will also continue to ensure a focus on supporting people with severe and enduring mental health needs.
I’m joined by Pete Watson, Clinical Director Mental Health and Tess Ahern, GM Mental Health to tell us about their approach.
“Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela
We all know that if we want to build strong foundations for our children’s ongoing education, learning and development we have to do two things. We need to have whaanau, families and caregivers on board and engaged and we need to join forces with external agencies and organisations, working together, to encourage and motivate children to be successful learners.
That’s why for the past 18 months Ko Awatea, with the support of the Ministry of Education’s Early Learning Taskforce has been working with seven privately owned South Auckland Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres. The aim is to increase enrolments, participation and quality of teaching for children aged 3 to 4 years.
The results have been remarkable, and I’m joined by Monique Davies, Ko Awatea Project Manager and Jilly Tyler Director of the Early Learning Taskforce to tell us more.
CM Health launched its refreshed strategy and values this month, and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing stories from staff who live these values (Kind, Valuing everyone, Together and Excellent) in their day to day jobs.
Today, I’m joined by our Head of General Surgery, Andrew Connolly, to talk about what ‘Excellent’ means to him and his team.
Last month I met some amazing people at the first TEDx Manukau. Hosted by Ko Awatea, 10 ‘Bright spots’ – everyday people, shared how they help people across South Auckland and beyond to live well – with dignity and meaning and to build a sense of community.
The idea behind this work is that if people are living satisfying and fulfilling lives they will be less likely to require health care services and more capable of supporting others to live similarly satisfying and fulfilling lives; creating a virtuous cycle.
Last week we launched our new strategy and values, and over the next few weeks I’ll be bringing you stories from everyday people, who live our values in their day-to-day jobs.
One such person is Anna Tilsley, who works as an Associate Charge Nurse in the Critical Care Complex. Anna embodies the value of being kind and has been doing some amazing work around end of life care. Anna shares her story.