2011 has been something of a rollercoaster ride.
Plunket’s services in Christchurch and around the country were greatly impacted by the February earthquake. A number of our Christchurch premises were damaged with some completely destroyed. However our nurses, other frontline staff and volunteers, despite being directly affected by the earthquake themselves, were quickly back on board to provide support services, information and reassurance to Christchurch families.
We cancelled our Annual Appeal which was due to start a week after the quake to enable our focus to remain on supporting families in Christchurch and those who had relocated to other parts of the country. Annual Appeal is our largest national fundraising event and its cancellation has had a large impact on our financial resources and subsequent volunteer programmes around the country, that are heavily reliant on funds raised during the Appeal.
As Plunket grows it is important that we continually look at how we remain relevant to the changing needs of New Zealand communities and work together to deliver support to families. This past year we have undertaken a major review of our governance structure and roles, consulting widely both internally and externally. This process is ongoing and the future direction of Plunket’s governance will be decided at our biennial national Conference in November.
We have moved our conference to Auckland after damage to our proposed venues in Christchurch meant we were unable to host it in the city in May. Our Conference is an opportunity for staff and volunteers to come together for professional development and to find solutions to the challenges ahead. Our staff and volunteers support and influence their communities so this is an excellent opportunity for networking, teambuilding, discussion of local issues at a national level and to influence the direction of the Society.
Plunket’s history is steeped in social and technological innovation. This year we have continued to ensure we are innovative and are in the process of developing an information system, PlunketPlus, which will integrate and streamline services to families.
Currently, patient records are paper based. The new system will provide greater support to our nurses, allowing them to capture and access information electronically in the field, freeing up their valuable time from administration and record taking and allowing them to focus even more on the children and families they are working with.
We look forward to sharing more with you in our December newsletter.
CEO, Plunket New Zealand
President, Plunket New Zealand