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The Co-ordinated Access on Release Group looks for opportunities to address equitable access to health services for people on release from prison and those on remand, so their hauora (health and wellbeing) is supported, as well as their whānau.

The group is made up of cross-sector representatives from the Department of Corrections, health and social services, so collaboration across these sectors can occur.

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Supporting people recently released from prison re-engage with general practice

26 Feb, 2021 | Return|

A programme to support people who have recently been released from prison re-engage with their general practice teams is gaining momentum across Canterbury.

The Te Ara Whakapuāwai programme is aimed at people who have served prison sentences of more than two years or returned to New Zealand from Australia on a section 501 order.

Funded by Canterbury DHB, the programme helps these people access appropriate health services, connect with local general practice services, access appropriate medicine, connect with services to support their mental and physical health and other health supports and resources in the community.

The model was designed by a multi-agency group including Health, Corrections and the social service sector.

Jane Cartwright, chair of the group, said: “The first few months of reintegration are often the most challenging for people leaving prison and this scheme aims to reduce barriers which would prevent them accessing healthcare.”

The programme offers people in the targeted group support to connect with a local healthcare service and 3 free general practice consults.  

Key information:

  • available for a person released from prison from a sentence of two years or more or deported from Australia on a section 501 order. (It is not for those who have been in prison short-term on remand or on home detention).
  • available for a 3-month period following release and for a maximum of 3 consultations.
  • people should be encouraged to enrol with the general practice they have attended to support their ongoing health and wellbeing on release.
  • people will tell the general practice receptionist that they’re part of the Te Ara Whakapuāwai programme when making the appointment.
  • Refer to HealthPathways > General Practice funding > Funding for specific situations > consultations for people on release from prison and Australian deportees here.

For more information download the poster, information sheet or brochure which will be provided across the Department of Corrections and to people on release, or email PCWService@pegasus.org.nz or call 03 379 1739

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Initiative to improve hauora of people leaving prison in Canterbury extended

Initiative to improve hauora of people leaving prison in Canterbury extended

Funding for a programme which aims to support people recently released from prison to re-engage with...

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Useful resources

Te Ara Whakapuāwai brochure

Helping people leaving prison connect with health services.

Programme information

Te Ara Whakapuāwai information for corrections staff.