Chair’s Report
Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd
Professor Les Toop

PHCL Board 2018

From left: Arron Perriam (Board Intern), Dr Simon Wynn Thomas, Ms Nicky Scott, Dr Gayle O’Duffy, Prof. Les Toop (Chair), Dr John Coughlan, Dr Caroline Christie, Ms Jane Huria, Dr Sharon Ashmore and Mr Peter Townsend.


2018 has once again been a busy year for Pegasus. This will be my last Chair’s report as I will be standing down from the Pegasus board at the upcoming AGM after more than twelve years, including four as Chair.

Firstly, I would like to thank all of those working in Pegasus practices and the many Pegasus teams and management for continuing to move us all forward apace. Throughout this annual report you will read about many of the projects and stories describing the complex web of support that Pegasus provides to practitioners, to practices, to the wider Canterbury health system and increasingly beyond. 2017 saw the end of the first 25 years of Pegasus, a cause to celebrate (and was celebrated in style at Wigram just a few weeks before this year’s AGM).

Rather than detail the last 12 months of ups and downs, having had the privilege of being on the journey since the very beginning, I would like the indulgence of sharing my reflections on just a few of the notable and enduring high level successes achieved by our organised general practice group. Successes that have made Pegasus so special and talked about not just nationally but increasingly around the globe. This unity has survived during a turbulent and fast moving quarter of a century. Governments have come and gone, funding formulae and funding bodies have changed but Pegasus has survived and indeed flourished as it has adapted to the changes. The unity of purpose and cohesion shown by such a large group and growing group of clinicians, rugged individualists to a one, over such a long period of time has in my view been quite remarkable, even in the face of unfortunate and disruptive behavior by a few of our own at various points along the way.

The wide and increasing array of supports for practices are collectively too many to list has grown and grown and is the envy of colleagues around the country and beyond. I am particularly pleased to see the flourishing leadership programme started in the last twelve months. Succession planning is crucial for any organization and if we are to maintain our clinically led, management supported ethos then bringing on the next tranche of leaders is all important. The need and willingness to make hard decisions to ensure sustainable provision of our world class after hours care and the recognition of the pressing need to move onto smarter IT systems to keep up with the changing health world are testament to the long legacy of Pegasus leadership and resolve. The courage to roll out a Pegasus adapted Patient Management system (Sirius) with the ambition to have it adopted across most if not all of the network and locally beyond, is testament to the “no problem is too big and no nettle is too painful to grasp” Pegasus philosophy.

The way in which the Pegasus family has embraced the integration agenda whilst maintaining independence and a strong commitment to patient centred care, to being guided by evolving evidence, to distancing itself from vested commercial interests and to embracing and relishing uncertainty and simply to unswervingly stick to doing what seems right have been major strengths that have gained respect from all parts of the system in a way rarely seen in other parts of the country and beyond.

This endeavour has been supported and underpinned by a world class ahead of its time interdisciplinary education programme, one that now is being distributed to many other parts of the country. We have also been fortunate to be in a region with like-minded innovators in other parts of the health system and those facilitating joining up the dots to rebuild a system that has the patient at the centre of design. Canterbury rightly is seen around the world as an exemplar for transformation and integration and along with key leaders in the CDHB, Canterbury initiative and secondary care, Pegasus has been a key player in that success. Of course there is much still to do and there are as always uncertain clouds on the horizon.

Unmanaged corporatisation as is occurring in other parts of the country will, I believe represent a threat to our shared purpose and to many of the things we and our patients hold dear, continuity of care being the most obvious and the economies for shared support and ability to gather the information we need to better understand and manage the needs of our system.

As you read on you will find many interesting stories which illustrate the breadth and depth of activity within the wider Pegasus which I believe is in good shape in good heart and has a bright future with many bright and enthusiastic young colleagues coming through to pick up the baton. I wish you all and the refreshed board the very best of luck and the fervent hope that you won’t need to rely on it.

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