A wicked issue is “a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize…, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems. ...[wicked problems] hardly ever sit conveniently within the responsibility of any one organisation.” (Denning, 2011)

In July this year, more than 20 leaders from across the health sector were invited to participate in an Equally Well Wicked Issues Think Tank in Wellington, with a view to developing solutions at a systems level. 

Attendance included:

  • service users
  • Te Pou 
  • Ministry of Health
  • Health Quality & Safety Commission
  • Health Promotion Agency
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • NZ Medical Association
  • General Practice New Zealand
  • Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
  • Te Ao Maramatanga the New Zealand College of Mental Health nurses
  • Platform representing other non-government organisations.

The Think Tank session addressed three of the actions from the framework for collaborative action based on the evidence review process, online conversations and the November 2014 summit:

  1. How to improve access to funded primary care visits.
  2. How to gain engagement on roles and responsibilities for routine monitoring and management of physical health issues across secondary mental health services and primary care.
  3. How to make access to healthy lifestyles advice and programmes a routine part of mental health and addiction services treatment.

To each of these questions, priority actions were identified for each of these and leadership and partnership responsibilities assigned. For example, the group agreed that under  #2 we should explore opportunities with BPAC NZ to adapt the three UK NICE guidelines on managing bipolar, schizophrenia and depression.  

Download the notes from the Think Tank (PDF, 752KB). These are also posted on the Equally Well Loomio discussion board under a new discussion called Wicked Issues. Please add your voice to the conversation. If you haven’t activated your Loomio account please email Wendy Donaldson