From left to right: Lynne Maher (Ko Awatea’s Director of Innovation), David Price (Waitemata DHB’s Director of Patient Experience), Renata Sheehan (Community Engagement Manager at Southern NSW Local Health District), Renee Greaves (Patient and Whānau Care Advisor at CM Health), Denise Kivell (Director of Nursing at CM Health) and Graeme Sloane (Director of Clinical Governance and Organisational Effectiveness at Southern NSW Local Health District)
The first international visitors to Ko Awatea in 2017 have left New Zealand pleasantly surprised by what they experienced here and ready to implement changes to their own health district.
Graeme Sloane, Director of Clinical Governance and Organisational Effectiveness and Renata Sheehan, Community Engagement Manager at Southern NSW Local Health District (Australia), have visited Ko Awatea and Middlemore Hospital from the 17th to the 19th of January. Hosted by Lynne Maher, Ko Awatea’s Director of Innovation and Renee Greaves, Patient and Whānau Care Advisor, the visitors came to learn about the process of getting organisations on the journey to patient engagement and co-design.
The three-day visit included meetings with members of Ko Awatea’s, CM Health’s and Waitemata DHB’s executive team and staff involved with patient experience, co-design and improvement. The visitors from NSW also participated in a Patient Safety Leadership Walk Round at Middlemore Hospital.
“The biggest challenges we face is reminding ourselves that we are people serving people and we need to understand what they require from us. Not only what patients need from us but also staff. It is not about quantitative data, it is about subjective information. What I take from this visit is the strong focus on patients, families and staff”, said Graeme.
“I am so impressed by the time everyone spent with us. We learnt about the successes but also about the journey. We were really interested in the pathway to achieve success“, said Renata.
Another significant aspect of the visit for Graeme and Renata was to notice how everybody understood and spoke clearly about the values of the organisation. “You can see it is not only words in a plan but that it is actually lived, it resonates right through the system from staff to patients and families”, added Renata.
According to Lynne Maher, the visit was a great opportunity to share our progress on the CM Health journey towards focusing on improving experiences of people who deliver and receive care, and to learn about the early achievements of the Southern NSW Local Health District. “Preparing for the visit was also a great opportunity to reflect on the many elements that have helped us to achieve the progress we have. These include, but are absolutely not limited to: the strong focus on our strategy and values; the Patient and Whānau Centred Care Board; consistent messaging from senior leaders about the importance of staff and consumers working in partnership; a wide range of capability building across the organisation and within our improvement programmes; the way we measure how we are doing; the work of the consumer council; the contribution of our research and evaluation teams and library services”, said Lynne.
She also added that it was wonderful to hear about how the new Mental Health In-Patient unit has been fully co-designed and to listen from two consumers who have been involved in co-design projects with CM Health staff. “For me, personally, it was a wonderful reminder about how much we do achieve and of the enthusiasm and commitment to do even more”, celebrated Lynne.
Graeme and Renata spoke highly of Ko Awatea’s and CM Health’s leadership and staff. “Everyone has been very warm and welcoming”, said Graeme. He was impressed that in their first ten minutes inside the building five people asked them if they were ok, lost or needed help, and that everybody was smiling. “The organisation and staff should also be really proud about what they have achieved, it is really impressive“, summarised Graeme. “We want to thank everyone for their warm, friendly and open reception. It was a real giving and sharing of your journey with us”, concluded Renata.
Patient Safety Leadership Walk Rounds – For Graeme and Renata, one of the highlights of the visit was their participation in a Patient Safety Leadership Walk Round. “We are definitely going to start a Southern NSW Local Health District Leadership Walk Round”, said Graeme. “I was so impressed by how calm, neat and tidy the ward was and how committed staff are. Patients feel safe. I was also positively surprised by the number and position of people who participated in the rounds and how they were really listening to what staff, patients and families had to say. It shows that the focus of the organisation is in the right place”.
“From my point of view, there was the opportunity to have a real and open conversation with patients and their families and hear their perspectives. I felt an environment of transparency, openness and trust”, added Renata.
Click here for more information on our Patient Safety Leadership Walk Rounds.
About the visitors
Graeme Sloane Executive Director of Clinical Governance and Organisational Effectiveness, Southern NSW Health District
With a background in Operating Theatre nursing, Graeme transitioned into management of private and public hospitals throughout rural NSW. More recently he led the implementation team for electronic medical records (EMR) across a geographically diverse region in rural NSW. This role transitioned to similar work in the Middle East before returning to manage the state-wide rollout of the second major stage of EMR. Following a period with the NSW Ministry of Health, managing state-wide efficiency programmes, he took up his current role.
He has a Bachelor of Health Administration and a Master of Business (Marketing).
Renata Sheehan Community Engagement Manager, Southern NSW Health District
The key focus of her role is to work with consumers and communities based in regional and rural areas to enhance health services. The district has a network of eleven community consultation committees, acting as a conduit between the community and health services in their local area. They consult at both a strategic and local level, also acting as an important communication point for health services. Consultation is also undertaken with patients’ families and carers to improve models of care across the district.
Before working with the local health district, Renata undertook engagement work in the area of environmental sustainability in the local government sector.