Our Way of Working

The Canterbury health system has successfully developed momentum towards transformation by motivating our health professionals to work together to design health and social services for the shared public good.

In Canterbury we've invested considerably in an alliance framework and way of working founded on strong clinical leadership from across the system, consensus decision-making, and a patient-centric and whole of system approach. Trust in this way of working and confidence that if it is the right thing to do then the funding will follow has been fundamental to the rapid design, implementation and delivery of services that provide care closer to home.


Alliancing in a health context

The Canterbury health system operates in an alliance framework.

This means that our Alliance Partners and health system leaders share a joint vision for the health system and agree to work together for the people of Canterbury. Within this approach we all win or we all lose; accountability is collective.

Our shared vision is about putting the patient in the centre of everything we do and empowering our clinicians to make decisions about what is best for the people of Canterbury. 

The Canterbury Clinical Network is the broadest health alliance in New Zealand with 12 partner organisations and whole of system engagement. Partners to the alliance include not only the District Health Board and Primary Health Organisations, but also pharmacy, laboratory, radiology and community service providers – providing clinical input from across the wider system.

Central to our alliancing approach is highly functional, clinically-led Workstreams and Service Level Alliances that are accountable for exploring, identifying and recommending new service delivery approaches to the Alliance Leadership Team. These groups have a clear scope, mandate and membership with a range of competencies and perspectives from across the system, and are empowered to make decisions and recommendations on service design and improvement. 

Clinical leadership

Clinical leadership is central to the delivery of our vision. We recognise that clinicians are in the best position to make decisions about how to redesign services to achieve the best outcomes. 

Clinical leaders work in partnership with health managers and planners and funders. They sit alongside consumers, project facilitators and providers in our Alliance Leadership Team, Workstreams and Service Level Alliances.

An integrated system

Our vision is one integrated health system that keeps Cantabrians healthy in their own homes by ensuring the right care is provided, in the right place, at the right time, by the right person.

To achieve this, we're working towards better integrating and coordinating primary, secondary and tertiary health services in order to improve the patient's journey through the health system.

It's also why the membership of a number of our Workstreams and Service Levels Alliances also includes our intersectoral partners, including the Ministries of Education and Social Development, non-government organisations and Territorial Local Authorities. Intersectoral partnerships are integral to the development and implementation of initiatives and programmes that support the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Related resources:
  • Powerpoint: Alliancing in a Health Context

  • CCN Implementation Plan


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