Outgoing Board Chair Deryck Shaw signs off
5/12/2019 4:19:45 p.m.
Thursday 5 December 2019
Outgoing Board Chair Deryck Shaw signs off

The curtain closes on a decade of health governance for Deryck Shaw this week, when he steps down as Chair of Lakes District Health Board.

Deryck joined the Board late in 2009 as a Ministerial appointment.  He and fellow appointee Ian McLean joined the Board to replace outgoing members Steve Ruru and Tupara Morrison.

Deryck was a founding director of Rotorua-based APR Consultants, set up in 1983 (formerly DJ Shaw and Associates), with the consultancy offering a range of services in planning, analysis and research.  He says when membership to the Lakes Board was first discussed he set about reading everything on health and the public health system.

He says the values of a public health system have always been very dear to him and have acted as the key driver for his work on the health board.

“No matter where people start in life we need to ensure that they can access the best public health and education systems available.”

The decade on the DHB Board has gone quickly, and Deryck says the role has been quite consuming, with him feeling as though he has rarely “left” health during the decade.

The Rotorua and Taupo hospitals redevelopment project, LHSIP (Lakes Health Services Improvement Project) had just commenced and there were plenty of issues to work through, including the main contractor Mainzeal going into receivership in early February 2013.  When that occurred, Mainzeal had completed the main onsite physical construction activity to build the new inpatient building and theatres upgrade at Rotorua Hospital.  Considerable time was needed to work with the receivers to finalise matters relating to warranties for the construction.  Mainzeal used several dozen sub-contractors on the main hospital project and the company’s collapse had a flow on effect for many of the sub-contractors.

Deryck says learning about the full extent of the seismic difficulties with Taupo Hospital, ahead of the redevelopment there was also a big shock to staff and to the Board.  He says the DHB feels very lucky today to have its upgraded facilities, at a time when a number of other regional hospitals are signaling the need for major upgrades.

“Having upgraded, attractive facilities helps towards a safer environment for patients and our staff.”

Deryck says the Lakes DHB is a unique environment, with the size of the hospitals making them attractive for staff, patients and training staff.  He says the connected communities in the DHB area makes them easier to engage with and get high levels of visibility into health issues.  In this regard he noted the Board meetings and health forums held in Mangakino and Turangi.

He says iwi partnerships are fundamental for health, for the way that our staff work and our values.  He says the Memoranda of Understanding signed between the Midland district health boards and the Midland Iwi Relationship Board this year outlining how the two governance groups will work together to support the delivery of quality patient-centred care, was a milestone.

Deryck noted that the MOUs with Te Arawa and Tuwharetoa underpinned the treaty relationship with Lakes DHB and ensured that there were joined up processes around health services planning and visibility on outcomes.

The raft of work around quality and safety issues at the DHB is reassuring and Deryck says it has given the Board a level of comfort around the quality of services and the strong organisational commitment to quality at Lakes DHB.

The one service-two sites philosophy has been further developed in recent years, and Deryck says it’s been pleasing to see the ongoing increase in the number of services provided at Taupo Hospital and the success in recruiting hospital specialists there.

Collaboration is always key to success in Deryck’s view, and he says there are multiple examples of Lakes working with other organisations and agencies.  He says the Children’s Health Hub at Te Aka Mauri is a very good example of this, and says both the Rotorua Lakes Council and the DHB saved a lot of money by working together on this.

“The interest in Te Aka Mauri is huge and we have had an amazing roadshow of people through the venue since it opened early in 2018.  There is still some work to do there and I don’t think we have realised the full benefits yet but the outcomes are positive,” he said.

He noted the strong and effective working relationship with Rotorua and Pinnacle Midlands PHOs and Te Te Ora Public Health.  Deryck referred to a range of community health services such as those in youth, elderly, mental health, general practice and pharmacy which underpin the health of our communities across the Lakes DHB area.

He says the DHB has not achieved all it wanted to around Maori health outcomes and currently the DHB is not doing as well as it needs to in this area.  However he added that the new health strategy rolled out this year, Te Manawa Rahi represents a strengthening of the DHB’s long-held commitment to health equity, with the more specific vision of achieving equity in Maori health. 

The outgoing Chair paid tribute to fellow Board members who over his 10 years of involvement brought deep insights and clear thinking to a range of health issues, including ensuring that the DHB was meeting its planned health outcomes.

He noted the great support that the Board had received from the three CEs he had worked with (Cathy Cooney, Ron Dunham and Nick Saville-Wood) alongside a quality and committed senior leadership team and effective clinical leadership.

He praised all Lakes staff and their commitment to The Lakes Way, an approach designed to deliver quality health services to people in our care.

Also stepping down are elected member Dr Des Epp and Ministerial appointees Ana Morrison, Warren Webber and Stuart Burns. 

The new Board will meet at the December meeting, with the announcement of new Ministerial appointments to the Board expected in the coming days.  Deryck says he wishes the members of the new Board all the best.