Action Plan having positive outcomes on CM Women’s Health Services

Womens Health

Media Release 6 September 2019 | A focus on improving Women’s Health Services at Counties Manukau Health, particularly for the obstetrics and gynaecological medical workforce, is having a positive outcome.

An Action Plan, based on recommendations contained in an independent report by Dr John Tait, Chief Medical Officer and a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Capital and Coast DHB, has been implemented, with half of the actions already completed.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Gloria Johnson says the report by Dr Tait recognised the unique service that Counties Manukau Women’s Health provides, and the dedication and commitment of the hardworking staff.

“It is the busiest service, has the most pathology, looks after women with significant obesity issues and has a variety of demographics,” the report says.

However Dr Tait also commented on the issues, both clinical and workforce, that the service has been facing and made 11 recommendations including:

  • Team structure to look after obstetrics and gynaecology in patients
  • More support for rostering and leave provision
  • An Anaesthetic Consultant on-site after hours
  • Reducing the number of emergency Caesarian Sections done between 10pm and 8am
  • More resources for the Diabetic Clinic
  • Implementing all day elective LUSCS lists
  • Gynaecologists to have more control over operating lists

Dr Tait noted that Counties Manukau was “in a unique position in that it could be a centre for excellence for the management of obesity related problems in women’s health”.

Dr Johnson says that since receiving the report by Dr Tait, an Action Plan has been developed and six of his recommendations have so far been implemented, with the others on schedule to be completed in the next few months.

Counties Manukau Women’s Health has also worked closely with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist (RANZCOG), regarding ongoing Training Accreditation. Dr Celia Devenish, Clinical Senior Lecturer with the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health (Dunedin) visited CM Health on behalf of RANZCOG to look at training and rostering challenges, and her recommendations have also been referenced in the Action Plan.

In a letter to CM Health, Dr Devenish congratulated the service on the efforts made and the innovations that have been instigated.

“My impression is that the culture of the unit is excellent, and in particular it is one open to change and reflective thinking. Training is a priority, and junior staff report a very positive supportive and enabling culture. They report all senior staff are approachable,” she states.

Dr Devenish’s suggestions were specific to education and staff training and supportive of the changes that had been made including the introduction of surgical buddies (which allow for more opportunities for trainees to be exposed to more complicated cases),access to Anesthetic working systems and more access to Fellows at dedicated registrar teaching sessions.

Dr Devenish recommended that RANZCOG visit CM Women’s Health for reaccreditation in March 2020, and concluded she did not see any major obstacles to the service achieving this.