In 2017 Maree Cameron PSM was awarded the Victorian Public Sevice Medal for her outstanding contribution to improving aged care. Her considerable experience and achievements in this area give her a fascinating perspective on what's important about aged care, how it can be improved and where to from here for creating high quality care and experiences for every resident.
After leaving the Department of Health and Human Services in 2017, Maree reflects on the impact of working in aged care on her career, considers the quality of care vs quality of life discussion, emphasises the importance of agreeing a universal definition of high quality aged care, and highlights the need for a national organisation to inform, support and drive safe and high quality care for every resident.
If you govern, lead, work in, have an interest in or a family connection with residential aged care - don't miss this interview!
Maree Cameron PSM received the Victorian Public Service Medal in 2017 for her significant contribution to improving residential aged care. (She and I discuss her thoughts on quality and safety in residential aged care in a separate interview.) Over a long career focused on improving quality of care and life for residents, she has amassed considerable knowledge about what this takes.
So does this knowledge help - or hinder - when you're the one receiving care? Maree has had multiple encounters with the acute care sector over the past few years as a patient, and kindly agreed to share her thoughts on being on the 'other side of the bed'. In this interview we discuss what patient-centred care means to an informed patient who knows what it 'should' be and how it is defined from the provider perspective; but is this really what patients need - or want?
Mel Wityk is the Nurse Unit Manager on a subacute ward at Western Health: a large multi campus teaching health service in Melbourne. Since 2013 Mel and her team, together with allied health and medical clinicians and ably supported and inspired by the WH wound consultant, Col Killmier, have been on a mission to achieve zero pressure injuries - and stay there. When I interviewed Mel the ward had gone 525 days pressure injury free.
How did they do it?
This QualityTalks started out exploring Mel's leadership role in preventing pressure injuries, but I soon realised that there's a lot more going on here. Over our discussion, Mel shows how she used every key change strategy in the book - without reading the book! - including: a clear and shared goal, a human connection, Start Where They Are, people support what they help to create, feelings drive action, leading by example, clear roles and expectations, smoothing the path, removing the old way, monitoring and learning, embedding change in the every day, celebrating wins and staying the course.
By the end of this QualityTalk it's clear that leading sustained change that makes life better for patients and staff is not something that takes years of study if you're clear about where you're going and where you're starting, and go on the journey together. And it helps if along the way you're prepared to listen, learn, practise a little genuine empathy for the needs of others - and have some fun!
And what happened after day 525? You'll have to listen to find out!
Julie Warnock is an organisational psychologist who develops leaders in many different sectors, including healthcare. Struck down by a sudden illness, Julie got to experience healthcare leadership first hand over four weeks and two campuses of the same health service. In this QualityTalks, Julie describes the leadership she experienced and reminds us about what's really important to patients.
Dr Michael Walsh has had an international career as a healthcare CEO in the public and private sectors - and as an expert in supporting safe, quality care. What does it take? What has he learned? What would he do differently if he were starting out again? Listen and learn as Michael shares his wisdom on key challenges, attitudes and actions required to be an effective leader of great patient care.
Jacque Phillips, CEO of Numurkah District Health Service tells us that leadership for safe, quality healthcare takes on a whole new dimension when water is lapping at the doors of your hospital. What's really important when leading a health service through a crisis? In 2012, Jacque's hospital was flooded; faster and more devastatingly than anyone had predicted. A town lost its hospital overnight - and patients and staff were at risk. This is Jacque's story of her leadership at the time of the crisis and in the weeks and months that followed. She reflects on what it takes to lead well for safety, what she learned - and what she'd do differently next time.