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September 2017 2

Paying it forward


Ko Awatea “Owning my Gout” project


Speech Language Therapists make their mark


An update on the Patient Safety Leadership walk rounds


Healthcare cooks score at national competition


Another great Diversity Ball goes by


Countdown Kids Hospital appeal and Middlemore Foundation


Lactation Support Services world breatfeeding week


The Auckland Rehabilitation Spinal Unit celebrates its 40th birthday!


Safe home visiting training


Bringing IT to the bedside and clinics


Daylight savings starts soon


General Election reminder

COVER PHOTO: The Spinal Unit turns 40! Pictured at the celebration is Greg Parish, Carole Pretswell, Denise Hislop, Rodney Bell (left to right).


Welcome to the September issue of Connect+. I really enjoy writing this column for Connect+ as it gives me a chance to read about the amazing work that is taking place across our organisation and in the community. It’s yet another reminder of the talent and commitment of the people who work here and their drive to make a difference to the people who require our services and care. Although we are having an exceptionally busy year, I’ve noticed that people continue to come to work and get on with the job at hand – that seems to be the Counties way. Our patients and their families also recognise your efforts and I continue to receive regular compliments thanking staff for their hard work and care, often under tremendous pressure. Sometimes it’s the small things that make a difference and the other day I heard about an elderly couple, who on hearing staff were busy brought in some cakes to ED to say thank you. That simple and kind gesture made people feel appreciated and valued. I want those feelings to be a daily occurrence, and while it may seem hard to draw breath at the moment, please know that our senior leaders are listening and working hard to restore some balance across the organisation. The good news is spring is here, bringing warmer weather and a respite from winter illnesses. If you can, take some time off to recharge those batteries and get some rest. You will feel better for it.

Connect+ is produced by Counties Manukau Health. If you have something to share or would like Connect + delivered straight to your inbox please contact

On behalf of the Board and the senior leadership team, thank you for your hard work – it has not gone unnoticed.

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Gloria Johnson Acting Chief Executive

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Janet Haley | EDITOR: Stacy Superfine

Paying it Forward


It’s been a busy winter, but that hasn’t stopped staff doing what they do best!

and with support and funding from the Rotary clubs of Papakura and St Johns and the Chenery Memorial Trust, we are introducing a ‘Pay it It’s been said that working at Forward initiative’ to let people know Counties feels like being part of a they’re appreciated. To start off the family, and this rings true on the programme we gave gifts to our hard wards. “As med students we always working medical House Officers wanted to work at Counties Manukau and Pharmacy teams, followed by a Health! It was our first choice and morning tea for the medical wards, we want to make sure that spirit where we spent a lot of our time over continues,” says House Officers the busy winter months. Revati and Ben. While we would dearly love to reward “We know how hard our everyone who works at CM Health colleagues are working to deliver the hope is that the Pay It Forward compassionate care, and have initiative will sustain itself and seen numerous acts of kindness random acts of kindness will become to make patients feel better. As a a part of the Counties culture.” thank you from the house officers


k c a b feed h im p r es s ed w it t os m e er w “W e s m ed ic a l te a m t en er f if d y th e w a la b or a te d . I t ol c ts s li ia ec and sp th es e g in g to h ea r w a s en c ou r a d if f er en t io n s b et w ee n s s u c is d en op a c is ts , c lu d in g p h a r m in , ts s li ia ec sp d in g ea tm en t in c lu tr t es b e th on m ed ic a ti on ”

Pictured at the mid-winter Christmas is House Officer Revati Chopara, SMO Dr Fiona Horwood and House Officer Sarah Correa

“I fe lt lik e I wa s in grea t ha nd s. I kn ow th is is a to ug h job an d it take s to ug h pe op le to co mm it to su ch a profes sio n. Ng a mi hi nu i kia ko utou kato a”

“Eve ryo ne wa s e mp at heti c , e ve ryo ne wa s he lp ful a nd e ve ryo ne wa s su p p o rtive ”


Ko Awatea

A Ko Awatea- led project in which pharmacists work with GPs and nurses in primary care to manage gout patients has been recognised in this year’s Pharmacy Awards.

Recognised at Pharmacy Awards

The Owning my Gout programme began as one of the collaboratives under Manaaki Hauora – Supporting Wellness campaign, but now falls under Ko Awatea’s Safety in Practice initiative.

Gout Project

Owning my Gout was led by Diana Phone, community pharmacist at Waimauku Village Pharmacy. Ms Phone, who works three days a week at Ko Awatea as project lead for Owning my Gout and two days at the pharmacy, dominated the awards, winning the Supreme Award as well as the Innovation in Delivering People Centred Care and Advice, Community Pharmacy of the Year and the Professional Service of the Year (for Owning my Gout). She says she was stunned and humbled to receive so many awards and was delighted for both the community pharmacy team and the Ko Awatea team. Owning my Gout has a special place in her heart because of its focus on collaboration between GPs and pharmacists to improve the provision of primary care, and also because of the involvement of Ko Awatea.

Speech Language Therapists

Make their Mark What began as a thesis for a Speech Language Therapy (SLT) Master’s programme has since opened a window of opportunity for SLTs Renee and Jessica. The pair knew something needed to be done to raise awareness of Aphasia (language problems following a stroke) and had the idea of piloting a ‘Communication Access Workshop’ to teach GPs how to better support people with Aphasia. At the workshop, GPs were surveyed on their awareness of Aphasia and other communication problems. A role play between an acting patient with Aphasia and GP trainees helped to showcase communication disorders. Through this, GPs learnt how to better facilitate communication with people with 3 | CONNECT + SEPTEMBER 2017

communication difficulties. The successful pilot was a collaboration between CM Health, The University of Auckland, New Zealand Speech Therapy Association and their ‘Giving Voice Aotearoa’ campaign, ‘More than Words’ Gavel Club (for people with Aphasia), and East Tamaki Healthcare Nirvana Group.

They reported being able to easily identify and manage people with the communication disorder as well as using specific communication techniques. “The goal has been to explore how a standard could be developed and how different stakeholders can successfully collaborate to develop a better working environment that serves their communities,” says Renee.

“The workshop may become a permanent offering for GPs to help foster better communication between doctors and their patients. This will allow for more meaningful consultations with improved health outcomes,” says Jess and Renee. After attending the workshop, survey results showed GPs were more confident in identifying and managing people with Aphasia. SLT Jessica McMillan, Tony (Gavel Club member), SLT Renee Taylor




In the past four years, the Patient Safety Leadership (PSL) walk round team has visited a total of 60 areas. This incredible effort has resulted in over 200 attendees, 300 staff, and 250 patients participating in the process. Lead facilitator, Jacqui Wynne-Jones, says the walk rounds are invaluable in producing insights on the experiences of patients and staff on the frontline and patient safety. “These walk rounds have paved the way for further patient safety initiatives to be designed in the future, including a recent review here at Counties,” says Jacqui Wynne-Jones. “We’ve since hosted many international visitors on the walk rounds, as well as national and local visitors. The feedback has been encouraging and supportive with several keen to replicate the walk rounds in their own workplaces.” Anna McIntosh, CNM from Ward 35N explained that her encounter with

the PSL walk round team was highly beneficial. “A lack of communication between staff on different shifts was found through this process so we introduced morning walk rounds and huddles to better engage staff members,” says Anna. “It has opened the flow of communication between staff.” While the rounds have mainly taken place at Middlemore Hospital, the training of six staff members to lead the PSL walk rounds means they can now be run at CM Health’s satellite sites. “The prospect of holding walk rounds at our localities is massive,” says Jacqui. “It will allow for better tracking of patient safety across the board so we can continue to improve. The rounds have also helped junior CNMs with growth and development. It’s given them the mandate to make changes, to name issues and then to implement these changes”.


Score at National Competition

Two of Middlemore Hospital’s cooks achieved three Bronze medals at the hotly contested NZ Hospitality Championships 2017, with more than 800 chefs competing across 74 classes. Dwain Tokoara achieved Bronze in both the Senior Lifestyle and Live Beef Open classes, while Rangi Apera achieved Bronze in the Live Pork Class, following months of hard work and commitment to perfect their cookery and presentation skills. Dwain achieved one Bronze in 2016; he was delighted to receive two medals this year. His determination to succeed is no surprise as Dwain has worked hard to develop his love of cooking, having started with Compass Group as a kitchen assistant at Middlemore Hospital.

“I love cooking and wanted to try something ‘new’ and ‘different’. It was rewarding receiving Bronze medals in both categories, after all the hard work from myself and my Food Services Manager Karen Reynecke. I will go back next year… to achieve a Gold medal,” he says. Dwain’s determination and support inspired Rangi to compete this year. The busy mother of seven credits her family, team and manager for helping her achieve her Bronze medal.

Karen adds that both Dwain and Rangi spent much of their personal time planning and practicing for the competition. “They tirelessly juggled their work at the hospital, family commitments, and preparation for the competition. Their awards are well deserved and everyone who knows them at the hospital is genuinely proud of them.”

“Dwain and Karen encouraged me so I agreed to give it a go. I am in shock that I received anything! I told myself that I wouldn’t participate next year, but I’ve already changed my mind. I want to step up and go for a Silver or Gold. It was great getting a Bronze from such respected chefs.” Dwain Tokoara and Rangi Apera COUNTIES MANUKAU HEALTH | 4 

Diversity George Ngatai (Board member) and Margie Apa

Diversity Divas

Patient At Risk Team

Celebrating Diversity 5 | CONNECT + SEPTEMBER 2017


Ball 2017 (Left to right) Philip and Deborah Balmer, Karl and Vanessa Cole (healthAlliance)

(Left to right) Hinewai Pomare, Mareta Hunt, Ian Kaihe-Wetting, Teei Kaiaruna

The Staff Performance

Bhangra Auckland Da (BAD)

Sreyon Murthi

Dan Suciu and Sanjoy Nand

Sharon and Christine COUNTIES MANUKAU HEALTH | 6 

& The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal is on again, with the Middlemore Foundation putting forward a project for Kidz First Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department. The annual appeal sees major donations to children’s hospitals across the country, with Kidz First and other Middlemore departments having benefitted to the tune of more than $1.8million in the past. This year Liviela Ulunga, a regular at Kidz First, has been chosen as a poster girl for the campaign. Liv has grown a lot since she became the face of the Middlemore Foundation, appearing on pamphlets and posters, but Mum

The Middlemore Foundation

Rebecca Wood is delighted to have Liv help out again.

“Kidz First has been wonderful, always makes us welcome, and I could not begin to put a value on how much care Liv has had, so helping in some small way is the least we can do.”

Countdown’s own people, and they probably don’t get enough recognition for that. So when you get asked to buy a raffle, keep in mind that you are supporting an appeal that supports us.”

“We would all do anything for our families, and Kidz First is part of our family.” The Foundation’s David Kemeys says the appeal is huge. “While shoppers obviously support the appeal, a lot of the money raised comes from

Lactation Support Services

world Breastfeeding week World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated with enthusiasm again this year at Counties Manukau Health. To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, Lactation Support Services at Middlemore worked with other breastfeeding supporters to create displays throughout Middlemore Hospital and in the primary birthing units. These show how our people “sustain breastfeeding” - the theme for World Breastfeeding Week this year.

Between 26 and 48 babies and toddlers latched on at each of the four venues - 133 in total. 7 | CONNECT + SEPTEMBER 2017

Auckland Rehabilitation

The New Zealand Spinal Trust’s Kaleidoscope service has been helping Kiwi’s with a spinal cord injury and impairment (SCI) address work and study concerns for 14 years. The team of specialist vocational rehabilitation consultants are based at the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit (ASRU) and Burwood Spinal Unit (BSU) and work at Middlemore Hospital. The Auckland Kaleidoscope Consultants, Lesley Jones and Noretta Boland meet spinal patients at Middlemore Hospital on a needs basis and then at ASRU meet all the new admissions as part of the multi-disciplinary team, in order to ascertain any work, education or career transition support required. Prior to Kaleidoscope’s establishment the return to work rate for a person with an SCI sat at around 12%. Now it’s 59% with a further 9% furthering their education. The team has supported over 1100 people since inauguration. New Zealand Manager Mel Kelly says, “Disability can be a learned behaviour and during rehabilitation, work can be a stabilising factor amongst much change. A future return to work can provide hope and often a focus. Independence and interdependence are too easily traded for dependence in a hospital environment. We engage employers early on and empower the person to do as much as they are comfortable with, all the while facilitating alongside our MDT colleagues, the attainment of the rehab goals set in the patient plan.“ Eligibility for Kaleidoscope is through the spinal units or through ACC referrals received in either Canterbury or Auckland. For any enquiries call (09) 270 9070

If you see Lesley, Noretta, or Mel around, don’t hesitate to ask about the service. More information about the NZ Spinal Trust can be found at www.nzspinaltrust. where you will also find more about the vocational rehabilitation service.

The Otara Spinal Unit recently celebrated its 40th birthday and sharing a special tribute is Grant Sharman, one of the first spinal patients to spend time in the Unit. In 1977 Grant became a quadriplegic following a rugby accident and for the next 11 years called the Spinal Unit home. “I remember thinking how brand new and shiny the Spinal Unit was back in the 70s. ‘A Ward’ opened first, followed by ‘C Ward’ – the long stay unit. Back then there was little or no expectation that people with a severe spinal injury would move back home or back into the community. That’s why I spent so many years there. I still remember my room in C Ward – room 140. I guess certain things stick with you. “While I have a book load of memories from those 11 years, my most vivid memory is the sense of family and community at the Spinal Unit. We used to have a lot of fun. There was usually a function most Fridays and I got on well with a small group of kids my age. The unit was well staffed and at 16 – 19 years old, I felt I had more mothers than a young man needed or wanted. “I finished my education through Correspondence School, started my career as a mouth painter and became a full member the year I left the Unit in 1988. My first job was a receptionist at Vision Wall-coverings. “While the treatment of spinal injuries has improved over the years, one thing that remains constant is the commitment of the staff at the Spinal Unit and their desire to give all patients the best care and rehabilitation they can. I guess back then we felt a bit like pioneers. We’d try new things and push the boundaries. It was a steep learning curve. On a romantic note, I met my wife at the Spinal Unit and went on to marry her in 1990”.

The Spinal Unit and its staff have touched many lives over the years and after 40 years it’s still making a difference.

Happy Birthday

and Best Wishes


Safe home visiting training for Counties Manukau Health staff

In response to increasing demand and the many complex issues facing our Counties Manukau communities, a new Health and Safety training initiative has been developed to support staff when visiting and caring for patients in their home. The Safe Home Visiting course has been developed in collaboration with staff who shared their experiences and offered advice and information to help shape the course to specifically meet the needs of those who work in South Auckland. The course is open to any Counties Manukau staff member who works in the community including public health nurses, midwives, respiratory nurse specialists, whanau ora nurses and other allied professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, speech therapists and social workers.


“The training is all about effective communication,” says Denise Black, coordinator of the programme and also a facilitator (along with four others). Get that right, and everything else falls into place.”

“This is a Counties Manukau Health programme uniquely tailored to us, to meet the needs of our community.”

says Denise. “A key component of the training is very much about self-reflection. Knowing what your triggers are, what style of communication you have, recognising your own boundaries and what motivates you to stay when you probably should leave, be that kindness, compassion or just plain indecision, we cover all of that. “And we learn from each other. In one training session we added up that we

had over 405 year’s community-based experience in the room. That’s a lot of knowledge and skill to draw on right there.” “It’s also important to point out, that the overwhelming majority of people who invite us in to their homes to receive care and treatment are warm and welcoming, but there are times when the circumstances are challenging and Safe Home Visiting training supports our staff to manage these situations professionally and safely.” The one-day course has been running since the beginning of 2017 with 20 courses booked. Approximately 400 people will have completed the training by the end of this year. Other aspects of the training include risk assessments, de-escalation techniques and tailoring our approach to each person and their individual needs. To find out more contact



Evaluating the new COW carts and portable computers in the staff cafeteria at Middlemore

The Healthy Together Technology (HTT) programme is introducing new point-of-care devices and IT systems to support the work of clinical staff. Nurses have new carts designed to carry a computer and other equipment important for bedside care. Medical, allied health and nursing staff have also been using portable devices that support entry and review of patients’ vital information and ordering of tests on-the-go from any hospital location. One of

the doctors using the new system says “I can now review charts and order tests even when away from the ward”. HTT includes new systems to reduce staff time handling faxed orders and searching for paper charts. The impact involves all hospital services at Middlemore, Manukau SuperClinic and the Manukau Surgery Centre. The patient information, radiology, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory and anaesthetics departments have

all been working hard to set up the new systems, which are then implemented in wards and clinics. Nurses speak highly of the new system and say the COW cart saves so much time on the wards. HTT is also working on an upgrade to the system used by doctors and allied health professionals to check on patient’s progress. The systems are designed to support quality and safety of care with mandatory fields, data quality checks and immediate access to the latest patient information.



Dont forget to

SPRING FORWARD Daylight savings begins

24th September Don’t forget to move your clocks forward one hour on the 24th September.

It’s time to have your say. Election Day is 23 September. Special arrangements are being made to enable patients and employees to vote in the General Election on the day itself. Employees are strongly encouraged to vote before coming to work on polling day and to consider early voting options to avoid delays on election day. As in previous years, employees and patients can vote in advance. More information, including details on advance voting for employees, can be found on Paanui.

Connect+ September 2017  

Counties Manukau Health publication