Chief Executive's Report
It is important for me to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Prof Les Toop for his incredible commitment and leadership in primary care and with many aspects of Pegasus functions over many years. As a highly credible, local, national and international leader in primary care Les has ensured the Pegasus network is an international area of excellence.
Working in an integrated health system requires strong and enduring system relationships and Pegasus continues to work effectively to achieve those with our District Health Board and Canterbury Clinical Alliance partners.
Over the past few years we have been listening intently to our networks and I’m proud to acknowledge the very good work on our GPs as Leaders programme which will be rolled out to other professional groups. It’s a programme aimed at supporting the next generation of leaders in primary care. We’ve had six booked-out symposiums looking at everything from governance to developing business acumen this year. The highlight was the ‘Peg Talks’ evening event based on the successful TED Talks format where peers share their inspirational stories with an audience of 80 colleagues.
Peg Talks included a very thought-provoking presentation about the lives of GPs and families who choose to work in rural practices, given by Chessie Henry, daughter of Dr Chris Henry GP in Kaikoura. Chessie has recently launched an insightful family memoir, ‘We Can Make a Life’, where she outlines the huge sacrifices that our colleagues in rural communities make every day. In her remarkable book, Chessie interviews her father and considers the psychological cost of heroism in relation to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake where Chris crawled into makeshift tunnels in the collapsed CTV building to rescue the living and look for the dead. The book was launched at Word Writers Festival in August.
An enormous effort has gone into preparing for the roll out of ‘Sirius’, our new Patient Management System platform. It is critical that general practice has the technology to enable a more effective general practice team and patient experience. The first practice went ‘live’ in early August we are now working to support all those practices choosing to transition over the next two years.
A personal highlight for me this year was attending an event where 16 year old Nico Porteous (Winter Olympic bronze medallist) presented a trampoline to the residents of Te Puna Wai Youth Correctional Facility. The Pegasus nursing team who work at the facility coordinated this fantastic and impactful event which illustrated to me how a group of young people can be at such different places in their lives.
The one area that continues to challenge us is the provision of effective primary mental health care support to our practice teams and the patients of Canterbury. Our drive to reduce the impact of mental illness within the Canterbury community has contributed to significant pressure on the capacity of our primary mental health resources. We continue to seek solutions and are continuing to refine the programme to ensure the accessibility of primary mental health care.
I want to acknowledge the work of all the teams at Pegasus from 24 Hour Surgery Team to our Events Team, who every day work to their best abilities to support our primary care teams across Canterbury. Thank you for your dedication and striving to make it better.