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A P R I L 2013

Healthcare delivery goes green Counties Manukau Health has begun a journey to become more environmentally sustainable, to ensure we provide high-quality care with the least impact on our environment. The first step was to sign up to the Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS®), operated by carboNZero Holdings Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Landcare Research. Next we needed to measure our carbon footprint at Middlemore Hospital and the Manukau SuperClinic and Surgery Centre, and put together a management plan to reduce it. This work has now been completed and the district health board has been awarded CEMARS certification. CM Health is the first district health board/hospital in Australasia to receive this certification. Dr Ann Smith, the acting CEO of carboNZero Holdings, applauded the district health board on its initiative. “We are really, really delighted to see such a prominent organisation as Middlemore Hospital, and such a large and complex organisation, able to go through the programme and come out the other side with certification,” she says. CM Health staff, who have been known to take turns taking their office’s recycling home at the end of each week, have shown overwhelming energy, enthusiasm and support for this initiative. “This began as a grassroots movement amongst staff,” says Director of Strategic Development, Margie Apa. “From the first time it was mentioned in (CEO) Geraint Martin’s blog, it received an overwhelming

Counties Manukau District Health Board Chair, Prof Gregor Coster and Director of Strategic Development Margie Apa receive CEMARS certification from Dr Ann Smith, acting CEO of carboNZero Holdings.

response from staff and we are extremely proud as an organisation to support that.” The Environmental Sustainability team is now working to introduce some initiatives which will improve the way we work and make it easier for our staff to do the right thing by the environment. Planned initiatives to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint involve making improvements to waste disposal (including recycling), transport and energy efficiency (such as using computer shutdown systems and minimising paper usage).

Changes to visiting hours

Many healthcare organisations are finding that taking a more patient centred approach is reaping benefits for patients and staff. Counties Manukau Health is embracing this approach. One of the areas we are looking to improve is access to our wards for close family and whaanau. In the past, hospital rules around visiting hours have been the

same whether you were a close family/ whaanau member, distant relative or casual friend. This is changing.

We will now be welcoming close family/whaanau to the wards at any time, i.e. outside of ‘normal’ visiting hours. Visitors are welcome between 2pm and 8pm. Close family/whaanau (identified by the patient during admission to our wards) can also directly support the patient alongside our clinical teams. They can provide emotional, spiritual or even hands-on assistance, and can support the patient to make decisions about their treatment and recovery. Apart from the benefits during the hospital stay, this can prove valuable when patients are discharged home. Any personal or hands-on care for the patient will be supported by our nursing staff to ensure all safety risks are considered and that family/whaanau are confident providing this level of care. There may be times when the number of people at the bedside needs to be limited but we believe this partnership will work well if the noise is kept to a minimum and other patients/staff are treated with respect. Many of our wards already have an open policy and this will ensure there is consistency for all of our inpatients regardless of where they are.

CO N N EC T + I PAG E 1

2013 April Connect+  

Counties Manukau Health staff publication

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