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Issue #15 - Thursday 29 September 2022
In this edition
Chief Executives' Update
Operational updates
Health Reforms

Health sector updates
Stories from around the motu


Chief Executives' update

Tēnā koutou e ngā kaimahi,

We hope you’re enjoying the warmer spring weather! It is certainly having a positive impact on winter respiratory illnesses. COVID-19 cases in aged residential care are now at their lowest level since the outbreak started earlier this year. We are also seeing fewer COVID-19 patients in hospitals, echoing the wider trend for lower case numbers in the community. We’re hoping this will continue as the weather warms up.
We’d like to thank you for the part you played in getting us through winter. We know there are a lot of very tired people who need some TLC.
With this in mind, and in recognition of this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (26 Sept – 2 Oct 2022), we encourage you to reconnect with the people and places that are important to you. When times are challenging, small things like connecting with loved ones can make a big difference to our wellbeing. Sometimes we can all do with a reminder. 
Congratulations to the National Bowel Screening programme for being jointly awarded the Service Excellence Award. This award recognises the team’s hard work and the role this programme will play in reducing Aotearoa’s high bowl cancer rate.

Congratulations also to Dr Dale Bramley, who has recently been appointed to the new permanent role of National Director Improvement & Innovation. We're very excited to be working with Dale, as he turns his focus to driving a sustainable uplift in quality and innovation across the health system.
Next Friday, 14 October, marks International Allied Health Professionals Day, where we acknowledge the work of our Allied Health colleagues. We look forward to sharing stories about how this day was celebrated around the motu in an upcoming edition of People Pānui.

Earlier this month we visited colleagues on Te Tai o Poutini – West Coast to talk about the health reforms and hear their feedback. We had a fantastic day and learnt a lot about the Rural Generalist model – which is an internationally proven way of creating more integrated and sustainable workforces in rural health systems.

Ngā mihi,

Margie and Riana

Margie Apa                                                  Riana Manuel
Te Whatu Ora Chief Executive                  Te Aka Whai Ora Chief Executive


Operational Updates

Te Whatu Ora Board update

The Te Whatu Ora Board met on Friday 23 September. You can read about the key decisions made at this meeting on the Te Whatu Ora website.

All-staff hui

Thank you to those who joined the CE hui on Tuesday.

Link to recording

IPANZ survey

The Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ) and BusinessDesk will be sending a survey on ‘Working in the Public Service’ to Te Whatu Ora staff.

Information gathered from this survey will provide an independent picture of the public service, including how people perceive the sector’s commitment to public service principles (s12 Public Service Act 2020) and what they think about their work environment (e.g., work/life balance, and workplace relationships).

Data will be anonymised but may be aggregated by demographics or type of agency. Individual agencies will not be separately identified.

We encourage everyone to complete this survey. Find out more on the IPANZ website.

Executive appointment

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Dale Bramley (Ngā Puhi) to the new permanent role of National Director Improvement & Innovation.   
Dale’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of people in Aotearoa has been outstanding. He is currently the interim National Director Hospital & Specialist Services for Te Whatu Ora. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of Waitematā DHB for more than 10 years – serving a population of 625,000 people and a staff of 8,700.
Alongside his executive commitments, Dale is a practising public health medicine specialist, an Examiner at the NZ College of Public Health Medicine, an adjunct Professor of Health at AUT, and the Chair of the Health Quality & Safety Commission. 
In his spare time, Dale enjoys tramping, cycling, skiing, swimming, surfing, and hanging out with his wife and three boys.

We’ll provide more information on the National Director Hospital and Specialist Services role soon. 


Health Reforms

Enabling locally delivered services through regional coordination and national planning
The steps we take to unify and simplify our health system are critical for achieving more collaborative health services across local networks.

When we talk about nationalising and building regional teams, our focus is on providing the right framework to deliver at a local level. We’re shifting the language a bit to be more explicit about the end goal, which is ‘delivery’ to whānau and communities by a local network of health services. That’s why you will hear people talk about nationally planned, regionally coordinated and locally delivered health services. 

Regions have a crucial role to play, alongside Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora, to integrate planning for primary, community and hospital services. Regional delivery will support tailoring and delivery of care to meet local needs.
Cabinet was explicit on the roles of the regions, which include effectively managing the delivery of all health services, and commissioning primary and community health services.
Work has started on developing the future regional model. This work is being led by Sue Gordon, Lead Corporate Services - National and Regional, in conjunction with people at regional and local levels. We will keep you updated on progress and let you know how you can be involved.

Hospital and Specialist Services operating model

Momentum is building around the design of the Hospital and Specialist Services operating model. You can read about this in the team’s latest update, which includes information on upcoming hui, emerging themes, regional directors, and the scope of the operating model.

Staff are invited to attend an upcoming Hospital and Specialist Services taskforce hui, which will provide opportunities for people to learn and ask questions.

Workforce taskforce 
The Real Nurses Campaign 
We've had nearly 40,000 visits to the Real Nurses website, and 4,500 direct referrals. 
The Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund 
The fund was relaunched 12 September. Unlike previous rounds, New Zealand nurses can apply for funding individually or through their employer. This means applicants don’t need to be in employment to meet the eligibility requirements.
Planned care taskforce  
The planned care taskforce has delivered its recommendations, which are now being worked through with clinical, operational, Māori and Pacific health leads. Once this phase is complete, the recommendations will go to the Minister of Health for review and public release.

Wait lists
Great progress is being made on reducing hospital waiting lists for people who have been waiting 365 days or longer. More than half of the 5,405 people on these lists have now been treated, scheduled, or discharged.  

Health Sector Updates

Big night for health!

Pictured from left to right: Di Sarfati, Sarah Harihari, Deborah Woodley, Michael Dreyer, Cathy Whiteside, Stephanie Chapman, Gary Thompson

Congratulations to the National Bowel Screening Programme for being awarded joint winner of the Service Excellence Award for outstanding initiatives in the public sector.

The National Bowel Screening Programme shares the award with the Ministry of Social Development’s Care in the Community Welfare Response for COVID-19.

The bowel screening initiative is expected to detect up to 700 cancers each year through its home-testing programme. This service will play an essential role in helping combat Aotearoa’s status as one of the highest-ranking countries for bowel cancer in the world.

The co-winning Care in the Community Welfare Response project is a joint-agency response to look after people who are isolating from COVID-19. This successful approach will form a blueprint for future approaches to care in our communities. The National Public Health Service’s Outbreak Response Team played a key role in this mahi.

Also, a big shout out to finalists Counties Manukau Living Smokefree Service for their outstanding work. Each year, they support 7,000 people – the majority of whom are Māori or Pasifika – through a programme to quit smoking. The programme’s average success rate is a very boast worthy 70 to 80 per cent. 

Te Tiriti o Waitangi in alcohol law

A new report explores how Te Tiriti o Waitangi could be written into alcohol law. Māori experience disproportionate alcohol-related harm, yet there are many barriers to Māori having a meaningful say in alcohol-related decisions that affect their communities.

National Stroke Clot Retrieval/Neurointervention Fellowship invitation for expressions of interest

Applications are open for training on Stroke Clot Retrieval and other neurointerventions. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand and have completed specialty training in radiology, neurology, or neurosurgery.

  • Dr. Stefan Brew, National Clinical Director Stroke Clot Retrieval, Interventional Neuroradiologist –
  • Dr. Anna Ranta, National Clinical Director Stroke Clot Retrieval, Neurologist –


Stories from around the motu

Online bookings in te reo

Patients at North Shore and Waitakere hospitals can now book their hospital appointments in te reo Māori. The new version of the online booking system – which was released to coincide with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) – allows patients to book, reschedule, cancel their appointments in te reo.

Planning is underway to roll out the initiative across other parts of Tāmakimakaura (Auckland), and Te Pae Hauora o Tararua (MidCentral district) is looking at options for its own booking system.

Rock on!! SmokeFree RockQuest 2022

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists of this year’s Smokefree rockquest competition, which was held last weekend at Q Theatre, Auckland.
This event has been a cornerstone of emerging music talent in this country for more than 35 years. For most of this time, the naming rights sponsor has been SmokeFree – which has made good use of the platform to promote smokefree and vapefree messaging.

The interim Director of Health Promotion Keith Newton was honoured to present one of the awards. 

Up-and-coming Māori health leader on placement in Timaru


Paramedic Carlton Irving has finally found time to go to medical school. Although not a lot of time, it must be said. The Otago University student fits his studies around part-time work, chairing the New Zealand Paramedic Council, and being a father to six children.

“[Medical school] has been a bucket list item for me since I was very young,” he said. “With the time I have left I want to help people and it just made sense that I become a doctor.”

As part of Carlton’s training, he recently attended a four-week placement at Timaru Hospital.

“You don’t realise the level of care people get here and the calibre of the consultants and clinicians is so high. And I’m not just saying that to get a better grade!”

“Learning wise, you’re in a smaller team. You get to see and talk with a consultant every day,” he said.

Cutting Edge Addiction Conference

The Cutting Edge: Te Toka Tū Moana Conference took place in Christchurch on 1-3 September.

Each year, more than 600 members of the addiction workforce attend the conference to share their experiences and hear from sector experts.

This year, topics discussed included workforce pressures, reducing stigma, and the benefits of health-based and kaupapa Māori approaches. Another key theme was the importance of cross-sector approaches for addressing harm.

Riana Manuel spoke on a cross-agency panel that included Detective Inspector Blair McDonald, National Drug Intelligence Bureau, Karen Orsborn, Te Hiringa Mahara - Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Ara Poutama and Sandie Finnigan.

Taking the sting out of bee stings

Christchurch Hospital’s Rheumatology and Immunology Service has halved the amount of time it takes to desensitise patients who are severely allergic to bee stings.

The old approach was to give patients medicine over a period of three to five days. But staff have found that by reducing the number of sessions, patients are developing a tolerance to bee venom more quickly. It also means patients can be treated in an outpatient setting, which frees up hospital beds and staff resources.
Christchurch is the first immunology centre in Aotearoa to use the protocol.

Know your ‘why’ – inspiring words from the Women in Leadership summit


Pictured from left to right: Natalie Tuki-Samuels, Ashleigh Herbst, Daryl Thompson and Raji Venkatesh 

Last month, representatives from the HealthSource team attended the 2022 Women in Leadership Summit.
This year’s theme was Kaitiakitanga, which means connection, guardianship, and protection.

Daryl Thompson, Senior Procurement Specialist, summed up her key takeaway from the day by saying, “We all need to make a deliberate effort to know our ‘why’ – our purpose for getting out of bed in the morning. This helps us to lead and inspire.”

She added: “[Leadership] is not just about resilience, it’s about learning to change and grow together.”

More than just a flower festival
Free barbequed sausages and goodie bags were used to entice visitors to the COVID-19 vaccination tent at Carterton’s Daffodil Festival, earlier this month.

Visitors were also offered blood pressure and glucose tests, along with the opportunity to ask our clinical staff questions.

Golden Hip Award 2022

Pictured: Award Winner Orthogeriatrician Dr Min Yee Seow

North Shore Hospital has won the Golden Hip Award for the second year running.
Presented by the Australian & New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry, the award recognises the top-performing hospital for the care and management of people with fractured hips.
Accepting the award was Orthogeriatrician Dr Min Yee Seow, who established the fracture care service at North Shore Hospital in 2018.
“It is very much a team effort,” she said. “It is great to have our orthopaedic, emergency, anaesthetic, nursing and allied health departments supporting us in our efforts.”
The North Shore service deals with the highest number of hip fractures in the North Island – about 400 per year.
“[This] is due to the large number of older people who live in our area,” said Dr Seow. “Seventy per cent of these people would die without surgery within a year, so it is important to follow a model of care that makes sure they receive the appropriate care as quickly as possible.”
Entries for the Golden Hip Award are measured against seven clinical care standards: care at presentation, pain management, orthogeriatric model of care, timing of surgery, mobilisations and weight-bearing, minimising risk of another fracture, and transition from hospital care.
Quick phone calls that make all the difference 

Dunedin - Te Ara Hauora and Southland – Te Huinga Tahi Hospital Services are providing extra support for Māori and Pasifika patients.

In the lead up to hospital appointments, patients are contacted to see if they need help with things like getting to and from the hospital or rescheduling their appointments. Patients are also put in touch with other agencies if they need further health, social or wellbeing support.

Nancy Todd, Te Whatu Ora Southern Associate Māori Health Officer, says: “It’s important to offer this extra support for our Māori and Pasifika patients, to assist whānau to feel more comfortable and informed when engaging with the hospital environment.”

This initiative was developed by Te Whatu Ora Southern and WellSouth Primary Health Network. The service is run by the Manaaki call centre team at WellSouth’s Dunedin office.
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