Events around the motu
Safety is the Winner in Wellington Operating Theatres
Congratulations to CCDHB for recognition of their efforts to maximise workplace safety for theatre staff at the New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards last month.
CCDHB’s Health and Safety and Wellbeing Service took home the WorkSafe New Zealand award for best initiative to address a work-related health risk for their project to reduce exposure to formaldehyde in Wellington Regional Hospital Operating Theatres.
Decanting formalin in operating theatres exposes nurses to formaldehyde, which is not only hazardous in direct contact but also releases toxic fumes. Existing controls, which relied on the use of shared PPE, were insufficient to manage the risk for theatre nurses, especially in a time-critical environment. The Health and Safety and Wellbeing Service looked for an engineering solution to better manage the risk of formaldehyde exposure, trialling several options over the course of 18 months.
The result was the installation of the UltraSafe unit in Wellington Hospital’s theatre department. The formalin dispensing system features a sealed chamber with vapor extraction, where an automated process weighs the sample before dispensing formalin into a special container fitted with one-way valves, further reducing any risks with manual handling. Since installation the unit has been used an average of 4 times per day. This is the first time this unit has been used in New Zealand, but it’s already proven to be a winning choice.
We’ve been nominated for top public service award
We’re delighted to announce that our national bowel screening programme and Counties Manukau Living Smokefree Service have both been nominated for Te Tohu mō te Ratonga Whakahirahira | Service Excellence Award.
The prestigious Service Excellence Award is given out each year by the Public Service Commission for outstanding initiatives in the public sector. The judges were extremely impressed by this year’s entries, who demonstrate not only public sector excellence but a commitment to improving the lives of New Zealanders. This year’s nominees also include Care in the Community Welfare Response, New Zealand Traveller Declaration and the Translation Service.
We’ll need to wait until 15 September for the winner to be announced – but, in the meantime, we’re wishing the team at the National Screening Unit and Counties Manukau Living Smokefree Service the very best of luck.
National bowl screening programme
The national bowel screening programme is expected to detect to 700 cancers each year by providing free home-testing kits to more than 835,000 adults. The kits are easy to use and will help specialists find bowl cancer at an early stage when it can often be successfully treated.
Participants are identified and tracked using Aotearoa’s first health population register, which brings together data from a range of sources, including National Health Index, National Enrolment Service, and Cancer Register. The software has been so successful it was cloned to deliver the National Contact Tracing (NCTS) solution for the COVID-19 response.
Check out the all-singing all-dancing media campaign
As mentioned in the last People Pānui, the new screening programme is supported by a media campaign that takes a positive and upbeat approach to the serious topic of bowel cancer. Produced by the Puhimoana Ariki Collective, the campaign reflects Māori and Pacific ways of engaging, thinking, working and creating. There was strong input from consumers and people who work with communities every day to encourage bowel screening.
Check out the television commercial here.
Counties Manukau Living Smokefree Service
Each year, Counties Manukau Living Smokefree Service supports over 7000 people – the majority of whom are Māori or Pasifika – through a programme to quit smoking. The programme boasts a success rate of between 70 and 80 per cent, which is partly attributed its whānau-led approach, and consideration of other factors such as a person’s home environment.
Interim District Director Counties Manukau Dr Pete Watson said the team is an outstanding performer, who consistently deliver equitable results for the community.
“The [team’s] outcomes for quitting are outstanding. The team’s results are consistently among the top in Aotearoa and we’re immensely proud,” said Dr Watson.
Crutch amnesty success
Gisborne hospital attributes the success of its crutch amnesty to marketing and careful logistics planning.
Despite Covid-19 restrictions at the hospital, more than 200 pairs of crutches and other hospital equipment have been returned since April. Dubbed Crutches, Not Grudges, the campaign asked people to widen the horizon of their search for unreturned crutches by suggesting they hunt through their nan’s shed, under the bed in the spare room, and in wardrobes – anyone’s wardrobes – and much more but you get the idea.
Creative flourishes aside, they mostly attribute the success of the campaign to the Gisborne District Council and the HB Williams Memorial Library Gisborne, who kindly provided locations for people to drop off the equipment while the hospital had restrictions in place.
Needless to say, they are very happy with the outcome and are making good use of the returned hospital equipment.