Change Day has arrived in New Zealand, and DHBs throughout the country have pledged their support. Ko Awatea led the Change Day initiative for Counties Manukau Health.
Change Day, held on March 11, originated in the NHS and has now spread across 13 other countries. It’s a grassroots social movement designed to give healthcare professionals a chance to take action to improve the quality of healthcare. It’s all about challenging the status quo, being an effective agent for change, and developing empathy and understanding of the patient experience.
Counties staff identified challenges, opportunities and aspirations and took pledges to make a personal difference. Themes for pledges included ways to improve the patient experience, increasing professional skills and knowledge, changing attitudes, developing leadership qualities or appreciating a patient or colleague’s perspective.
For the Healthy Hearts Fit to Exercise team, who work with people with heart failure, Change Day was a fantastic opportunity to meet a special goal: they pledged to help 17 Healthy Hearts participants complete the 5km Highbrook Rotary Fun Run/Walk on February 25th. Staff were inspired by the positive impact setting this goal had on motivating Healthy Hearts participants to achieve something that they had either never considered, or thought was beyond their reach.
“This initiative aligned well with the ethos behind Change Day. We used the Walk to highlight the difference our Healthy Hearts programme can make,” says project manager Alison Howitt.
Staff provided registration, assistance with transport, team t-shirts with the unique Healthy Hearts logo and focussed training to help participants prepare for the walk. On the day, they also acted as walk buddies.
All the programme participants completed the walk. The Healthy Hearts team hope to set other challenges for their participants in the future.