New model fosters working partnerships amongst healthcare services and providers.
A new integrated health services model adopted by health professionals will strengthen effective and sustainable health services in Taumarunui, says Waikato District Health Board (DHB) chief operating officer Jan Adams.
Mrs Adams sponsored workshops in Taumarunui in May 2012 which identified the need for an integrated model of care in the north of the Ruapehu District served by Waikato DHB which includes Taumarunui.
These meetings involved community members and Waikato DHB staff.
The participants identified various work streams for further development and formed the Taumarunui Health Governance Group to oversee progress and support initiatives.
The governance group consists of leaders from key local health care and community agencies including Waikato DHB, Taumarunui Commmunity Kokiri Trust, Ruapehu District Council, Clayton & Hayes Pharmacy, St John, Enterprising Taumarunui Inc and an Iwi Maori Council / New Zealand Institute of Rural Health representative.
Former Mayor Sue Morris adopted the integrated health project under the Mayor’s Taskforce for Health in August 2012.
Mrs Adams, who chairs the governance group, said the relationship between the group and the mayor’s taskforce was significant.
“It helped to progress the work plan agreed after the three day workshop.
“Having locals on the governance and working groups means that we have a model that meets the needs of the local community.
“I acknowledge Kokiri Trust and Waikato DHB staff both in Taumarunui and in support of the project for the significant work on developing a model that focuses on ‘every door is the right door for health in Taumarunui’.”
“The Taumarunui Integrated Health Care Model gives the community a locally owned health care model that fosters working partnerships amongst health care services,” said Mrs Morris.
Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust chief executive Christine Brears said the adoption of the Taumarunui Integrated Health Care Model was exciting.
“Over the next few years the model will drive the way we all deliver health care in and around Taumarunui. Developed care pathways support the model.
“This will mean we will address local health issues through our health services working closely together.”
The first of these has seen the development of an asthma pathway for children, young people, and their families.
Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust and Waikato DHB staff took a lead role in the development of the model with input from local health services.
In September 2013 a formal presentation of the model of care was made to the governance goup and the model approved.
Some of the key activities underway are the development of an education calendar that will include learning opportunities for all local health services and a “welcome to Taumarunui” booklet for health professionals coming into the area is under development.
“We are aiming to increase the support available for our existing staff and for new staff coming into the area and to encourage collaboration between services,” said Mrs Adams.
“Work to date also includes the development of the child asthma pathway; the establishment of a telemedicine link in the Taumarunui ED; and the completion of a stocktake of health professionals in Taumarunui, which we will use to plan future health workforce requirements.
“Integrated care pathways will ensure people are able to see the health professional that can best meet their needs as quickly and easily as possible. The principle of “every door is the right door” becomes a reality for people accessing health services in Taumarunui,” she said.
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