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King Speech: Nurse Maude quality accreditation

Annette King Speech: Presentation of Nurse Maude quality accreditation

Celebrating the first time quality accreditation has been awarded to an organisation providing the range of services available through the Nurse Maude organisation.

Thank you very much for inviting me to share this special occasion with you today.

And it is a special occasion --- firstly, quite obviously, for the Nurse Maude Association, and secondly for health services generally in your home province of Canterbury.

But it is also a special day for Quality Health New Zealand, because this is the first time quality accreditation has been awarded to an organisation providing the range of services available through the Nurse Maude organisation.

My Cabinet colleague, Ruth Dyson, shares my pleasure at this award, as she has a particular interest in Nurse Maude both as a Canterbury MP and through her various portfolios.

I also want to acknowledge Professor Peter Davis, who has long been a great advocate of quality standards, and the chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board, Jean O'Callaghan.

Thank you to your chair, Murray Compton, for his welcome, and I would like to endorse the comments your chief executive, Ingrid Thomas, has made about what accreditation means.

And I would like to acknowledge a number of staff at Nurse Maude --- nursing director Sheree East, quality assistant Amanda Zwarts, quality consultant Erin Borlasse, and Carolyn Cartwright, the chair of the board's community services and quality committee. I am told all of you have played vital roles in bringing the accreditation about.

It does not seem more than three years ago that I was here unveiling the foundation stone for the new Nurse Maude Hospital, a ceremony that marked the completion of the hospital's first wing.

You have achieved much since then. The Nurse Maude Association has been part of the Canterbury community for more than 100 years, and clearly the last few of them have been among the busiest.

Congratulations to you all on your commitment, dedication and professionalism in pursuing Quality Health accreditation. I know how much hard work has been involved. You can be proud that this award recognises all that hard work as well as the effectiveness and high quality of the services you provide.

Another reason I am so pleased to be here today is that this Government is a strong advocate of improving safety and quality in our health and disability system.

Much recent accreditation in the health sector has come about because of the Health and Disability Sector Standards for hospitals, rest homes and residential disability services made compulsory under the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act.

The Nurse Maude Association has also been awarded certification under this Act.

Where Nurse Maude Association can be particularly proud, however, is, as I said earlier, that this is the first time that an organisation that provides such a wide range and type of services has been accredited.

Unlike other community organisations in New Zealand, Nurse Maude provides a continuum of community care from specialist nursing, hospice and palliative care, and hospital services to home care, as well as providing practical support such as food and laundry services. All Nurse Maude's health services, individually, are now accredited. The awarding of this certificate represents another milestone in the development of QHNZ's system of Quality Health Accreditation standards. These standards not only provide a tangible way to measure and monitor health services, but also increase trust in those services.

In September 2003 I released the strategy, Improving Quality (IQ): A Systems Approach for the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector. I am confident that this strategy will have long-term benefits in the way we ensure quality is maintained and improved in the sector.

Improving Quality represents a commitment to supporting continuous quality improvement. We want to put people at the heart of the system, particularly at the interface between those receiving health and disability services and those delivering them.

Even though Nurse Maude is clearly already committed to providing quality health services, I am sure everyone here agrees that quality can always be enhanced, no matter how high standards already are.

The Improving Quality strategy provides an ongoing review process, and I am confident that this document will help all health professionals provide continually improving health services to all New Zealanders.

The strategy is designed to provide a central vision that is understood and shared by everyone, and aims to:

• Set clear standards and priorities for quality improvement • Encourage public and patient involvement • Assure and improve quality as an every day activity • Develop a strong system for reducing risk and promoting patient safety

If I can leave the main subject of the day for a moment or two, it would be remiss of me not to thank Nurse Maude for your enthusiastic support for implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy, in particular for helping to develop a Primary Health Organisation in Christchurch. I am delighted your efforts are about to bear fruit.

I will be making more announcements next week about the continued development of PHOs. I cannot give you the details today, but the announcement will be good news for the South Island generally, and will reflect a continued huge momentum for the PHO movement.

The rapid rate with which PHOs have developed continues to demonstrate the eagerness of the health sector to embrace the philosophy of the Primary Health Care Strategy.

This Government remains committed to putting more and more resources into providing more accessible and affordable primary health care as it offers the best means to improve the health of all New Zealanders.

As PHOs develop in a diverse range of ways to meet the needs of their communities, they are involving a wide range of health professionals working together to provide effective and relevant health services.

I know the Nurse Maude Association is well aware of the importance of recognising and developing the skills of such a wide range of health professionals, and that in particular you have been very interested in the development of the nurse practitioner role.

We are now making excellent progress in establishing the role, and in identifying and addressing barriers to further progress. I am delighted that the Nursing Council has now approved 10 nurse practitioners, and my hope is that the first 10 will inspire other nurses to work towards achieving the same status. One key principle of the nurse practitioner role is practice based on collaboration. Nurse practitioners will not replace other health professionals, and nor do they want to do so, but they will enhance the overall quality and diversity of our health workforce. International research shows that nurse practitioners and other health professionals need and complement each other, with many patients requiring a complex array of services that depend on the knowledge and skills of nurse practitioners, GPs and many other health professionals. There is opportunity for still greater collaboration between all health professions, and this will significantly improve health services and outcomes in New Zealand. I want to see nurse practitioners working throughout DHBs and NGOs, helping to increase access to a range of health services. I know Nurse Maude is also keenly interested in a number of issues concerning home-based support services.

The Ministry has initiated a Home-Based Support Services Project to develop this sector, and has also established a Quality and Safety project to provide recommendations on a policy and service framework that will ensure the safety and quality of support services delivered in the community as well as in residential care settings.

Everyone here will agree that we must keep striving to improve, but the main focus today is to celebrate what has already been achieved, by both the Nurse Maude Association and Quality Health New Zealand.

Congratulations particularly to all the people whose hard work and commitment have led to today's award. I wish you all well in your continuing efforts to ensure New Zealanders are provided with high quality care and assistance.

In December 2000, when I unveiled the foundation stone, I said that Nurse Maude could be proud of what it had achieved in the past, and that I was sure the association would have much to be proud of in the future as well.

The same sentiments apply today. This accreditation is, in a real sense, another foundation stone. I am sure you will continue to build on it in the future.

Thank you again for asking me to be part of another happy event at Nurse Maude. And it is now my pleasure to present the accreditation certificate to Sheree East.

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