My move to Australia has been long in coming but has happened at last and already I have been made to feel very welcome.
In my first week of hotel quarantine I’ve been briefed on Melbourne’s north/south divide when considering where to live, negotiated the delivery of an exercise bike to my hotel room, learnt about ‘kicking goals’ and formed a new relationship with the hotel chef based on providing healthy breakfast options. Some great learning already!
But of course, my real challenge has been to hit the ground running in the middle of an emerging pandemic response. First off has been a focus into the key programs of Safer Care Victoria – understanding the unique way we work, meeting our passionate and dedicated staff and becoming familiar with the array of workstreams and projects our agency is delivering now and across the next five years. In this I am really grateful to Robyn and Ann Maree who have provided amazing leadership to SCV and now guidance to me.
Second has been to meet with as many people as possible to understand more about how SCV can support the healthcare system and how I can support them to work most effectively. I had hoped that I would be out and about in my first few weeks and months, meeting with staff and leaders in health services across the state and hearing about your experiences and how we can work together. Sadly that is not to be but Teams at least allows contact across a distance without the need to travel so provides a different opportunity. A key lesson of the pandemic is that different ways of working forced by the situation offer advantages as well as limitations and that we need to retain the positives into the future and not slip back to the past, as an aim for our organisations.
Over the next few weeks managing this current COVID wave will become the overwhelming priority for the health and care systems and SCV will pivot to support our colleagues and consumers on the front line. We will do this providing our unique expertise to give added value where we are needed. One of our initiatives will be to pilot the Learning Health System concept that offers real time learning across the State and beyond as we deploy novel services and service models during a rapidly changing situation. Equally important however is that we continue to deliver our commissioned programmes of safety and improvement to the many more consumers who have to live with their non-COVID conditions whilst the system is focussed on the pandemic. Balancing those priorities will be difficult and engaging staff and provider organisations challenging but that is the task we are set to deliver on!
You will see me popping up in different forums and meetings over the next few months as I settle into my role and life in Melbourne. If our paths don’t cross straight away, there are other ways for us to connect. Please join me on 6 October at our virtual stakeholder event. It’s a chance for me to introduce myself, share SCV’s plans for the year ahead, and an opportunity for you to ask questions of me. Register for Meet Mike @SCV.
Also, please know that my ‘door’ is always open! You can contact me at Mike.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to working with you,
Mike formally started in the CEO role in early September, relocating from the UK where he was Managing Director of UCLPartners Academic Health Science System. Read more about Mike.