First DHB signs pledge to improve patient safety

22 May 2013

Press release from Hon Jo Goodhew

Tairawhiti District Health’s decision to become the first district health board in New Zealand to sign a certificate pledging support for the new national patient safety campaign has been welcomed by Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew.

“I am delighted that Tairawhiti DHB has become the first in the country to formally sign up to the Open for better care campaign, which aims to save lives and reduce harm,” said Mrs Goodhew.

“This shows their commitment to working in partnership with patients, consumers, families and whānau to reduce patient harm.   

“I’d also like to congratulate other DHBs and health providers who have indicated their support for the campaign.  I look forward to more DHBs signing the pledge certificate as the campaign progresses.”

The Open for better care campaign was launched by Minister Goodhew on 17 May 2013 and will run to mid-2015. It will focus on four areas where evidence shows it is possible to reduce patient harm – falls, surgery, healthcare associated infections and medication safety.

DHBs signing the certificate pledge to be open to:

  • working in partnership with patients, consumers, families and whānau
  • change, improvement and innovation
  • supporting an honest, transparent and respectful culture
  • listening carefully and communicating clearly
  • acknowledging mistakes and learning from them
  • working as a team and across teams
  • working across the primary and secondary sector
  • using evidence-based practice
  • sharing and learning from successes.

Tairawhiti DHB Board Chair David Scott and Chief Executive Jim Green signed the pledge certificate at a staff morning tea in Gisborne Hospital’s cafeteria on 17 May. 

“It is a privilege to be the first DHB in New Zealand to sign this significant pledge – a long-term promise of patient safety,” said Mr Scott.

Mr Green said championing the campaign was the best way for Tairawhiti DHB to focus on improving outcomes for patients. “By signing this pledge, we again commit our energy and resources to improving care while reducing harm.”

Information about the campaign can be found at

Last updated 22/05/2013