13 Dec 2019 | Child & Youth Mortality Review Committee
Te Tiriti-led quality improvement across the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s (the Commission’s) mortality review programme was the focus for the two-day annual workshop of the Child Youth Mortality Review Committee (the CYMRC), held recently in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.
Between 40 and 50 people came together from around Aotearoa New Zealand, including members from local child and youth mortality review groups (LCYMRGs), LCYMRG chairs and local coordinators, and members of the Commission’s mortality review committee secretariat.
Other topics for discussion included the impacts of alcohol on youth, the upcoming drug law reform referendum and disrupting institutional racism.
Among the presenters on day one were ex-coronor and new director of the Suicide Prevention Office Carla na Nagara, who spoke about whānau-centred coronial investigations, and made recommendations for a shift toward an alternative way of working with whānau.
Dr Heather Came-Friar (self-proclaimed ‘sister-nerd’) from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and Dr Alayne Mikahere-Hall (CYMRC member and also from AUT) brainstormed ‘blue-skies thinking’ on what a racism-free health care system may look like in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Representing the Auckland LCYMRG, local coordinator Sue Peacock and chair Alison Leversha gave an inspiring presentation on their research on the relationship between school stand-downs and mortality for Aotearoa New Zealand youth, and how we as a society could view school exclusions as a cry for help.
Brendan Ward, chair of the Rotorua LCYMRG, talked about responding to family harm as a health priority and how Te Tiriti o Waitangi influences CYMRC review outcomes.
Day two began with a session delivered by the New Zealand Drug Foundation’s Ross Bell. Ross talked through the non-governmental organisation’s stance on the upcoming drug law referendum planned for the 2020 election. Supported by lawyer Professor Khylee Quince, the two speakers described why prohibition doesn’t work, what some unintended consequences of drug law reform may be, and the overseas experiences we in Aotearoa New Zealand can learn from here at home.
Next, Māori warden and Waitangi Tribunal 2575 claimant David Rāwiri Ratu spoke strongly about the need for Māori sovereignty in leading the charge to tackle the major issue of waipiro alcohol relating to his people.
These sessions were rounded off by a facilitated workshop on improving mortality review, with lively discussion producing themes for the CYMRC to take back to Wellington and further develop its own plan for supporting LCYMRGs.
The overall purpose of the workshop was to network and knowledge-share with the goal of improving mortality review practice. Based on the positive feedback from participants and speakers, the workshop achieved its purpose. This feedback will help us to plan next year’s event; we will combine what we learned from hosting this year’s workshop with the conversations and insights shared by attendees.
The CYMRC would like to thank everyone who helped to prepare and support, and who attended the workshop and hope it was of value to our many stakeholders.
Me mahi tahi tātou mo te oranga o te katoa
We must work together for the wellbeing of all