Ian Langdon reflects on six years as the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service Board Chair.
Since I began as Chairman of the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service Board in 2012, we have gone from a regional hospital service to one of the nation’s foremost tertiary facilities. We are now very proud of the fact that in many areas we are leading the way, becoming increasingly known as a centre of excellence – through not just the service we provide, but the research and innovation we pursue.
The proximity and partnerships with the university sector provide enormous opportunities, and our research capability is a strength we will continue to develop as the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct comes online.
Over the last four years, Gold Coast Health has delivered a four-fold increase in the number of medical research studies undertaken every year. From orthopaedics to oncology to occupational therapy and every specialty in between, some of the country’s greatest medical minds along with our up and coming clinicians join forces on a journey of discovery.
One such study currently underway is investigating the best way to replace the blood clotting protein in patients with severe trauma and critical bleeding. Gold Coast Health is leading this research, with the involvement of three other major trauma centres and the results will be truly lifesaving.
Most of the studies undertaken, including this one, - are supported by external research grants, meaning there is no financial cost to our patients – but they certainly get the returns.
If you have an organisation which is excelling internally, and you have individual clinicians doing outstanding work – the people around them are inspired. The tone of the organisation changes, and research success in one area means other areas are challenged.
It becomes contagious – not the output, but the enthusiasm.
Research on its own has got tremendous value – the output makes a difference through new techniques and ground-breaking discoveries. The real deliverable however is not in the research paper.
For our patients, the culture of our organisation developed through a commitment to research and innovation is the greatest return, because it translates into constantly looking for better ways of providing the treatment the Gold Coast community needs.
Our culture has allowed us to attract and retain some truly outstanding clinicians, and having them as part of the team has enabled us to expand our services and provide local treatment which used to require a trip to Brisbane.
Excellence for us is in the journey – it’s about the way we work, individually and together. We pursue excellence in everything we do, it is within the reach of us all, and the ordinary things done here extraordinarily well are changing the way health services are delivered on the Gold Coast.
Every Gold Coast resident, from Yatala to Coolangatta, can be assured that our commitment to innovation and research means we will always look for a better way of providing care to our patients.
This community, of which I am a proud member, deserves nothing less.
The Gold Coast Health Research Annual Report has more information on activities across the health service.