Commissioner Update - October 2018

Kathy Grant
Kathy Grant
It has been a pleasure in the past few weeks to meet with members of the community from across the district, who joined us for public meetings in Oamaru, Alexandra, Queenstown, Gore and Balclutha.

We were able to share updates on how the health system in this district is developing, and hear further about the areas that are important to you.

You will recall that in 2016, we undertook extensive listening sessions with our communities and staff to hear what was most important to you for a health care system. Your strong call for a more coordinated and accessible health care system has continued to guide our work.

At our meetings recently, we outlined the key areas and progress we’re making to achieve this, including:

• Creating an environment for good health – working towards an environment and society that supports health and wellbeing through good policies and programmes, such as Cosy Homes

• Primary and Community Care Strategy and Action Plan – including developing Health Care Homes (enhanced GP practices), Community Health Hubs (physical colocation of a wider range of health services in communities across the district), and better use of technology such as telemedicine (reducing the need to travel for specialist appointments)

• Valuing Patients’ Time – a focus on our secondary care services to improve patients’ journey through our hospital system, and reduce wasted time

• Enabling people and systems – so that our staff to have the skills, support and passion to deliver the care our communities have asked for, and the systems to make it easy to work together safely

• Building facilities for the future – including the new Dunedin Hospital, Lakes District Hospital redevelopment and community health hubs to adapt to new models of care.

It’s always a challenge to get to as many towns in our district as we would like – which is of course part of the reality all our health care providers face in ensuring the reach of services. We will continue to arrange events around our district – please keep an eye out for advertisements, and follow the Southern DHB facebook page to stay up to date. The presentation shared with communities earlier this month is also available on the Southern DHB website.

You can also stay up to date with the development of a new southern health website, aiming to provide information about services across our district. Find out more at

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Mental Health Awareness Week 2018!
Southern Innovation Challenge winners announced

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