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