Hurunui health service enhancements progressing well
Health services for people in the Hurunui are steadily improving, thanks to the efforts of a locally-based working group, the Hurunui Health Services Development Group (HHSDG).
The group, which includes community members and health professionals working alongside health service managers from Waitaha PHO and the Canterbury DHB, developed a plan (model of care) to enhance health services and shared this with the community.
The communities’ feedback helped shape the final version of the model of care that got the green light from health system leaders in July 2018. The HHSDG has now been working to implement the recommendations presented in the plan.
Marie Black, Deputy Mayor of the Hurunui District Council and Chair of the HHSDG, said it was great to see the work coming to life for the benefit of the community.
“It takes a lot of work in the background – getting people together to assess requirements and agree solutions – to make these enhancements and ensure they’re sustainable for the future, but know that what is planned will make a real difference to the people here, and that makes it all worthwhile,” she said.
A collaborative after-hours arrangement between the five general practices and St John took effect in September 2018. It means patients enrolled with any one of the five Hurunui general practices attending (or going to) any Hurunui practice for urgent care after-hours will be charged as if they are enrolled there.
The group is now focused on implementing other recommendations, including local observation services and on enhancing the care available to help people back to full health after a period of illness - restorative care.
The Canterbury DHB is supporting General Practices across the Hurunui to monitor unwell people at the clinic while they wait for an ambulance to transfer them to hospital. Work is also underway to develop a process which could involve an on-the-spot clinical assessment that could save some unwell people from having to make an unnecessary journey to Christchurch.
Rural restorative care
Local district nurses, home care providers and general practice staff are working collaboratively with the Canterbury DHB services development team on a model to strengthen a person’s recovery following their discharge from hospital or after a period of illness. Part of this work includes evaluating what care is currently available in the Hurunui, and identifying ways to enhance this care - for example, through provision of locally delivered allied health care such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy.
Other work in progress includes:
- Work on improved specialist mental health services that can be accessed through Hurunui general practices;
- Increasing the availability of telehealth (video consultations) where clinically appropriate, enabling people to have specialist follow-up appointments with Christchurch-based specialists from locally based health providers; and
- Scoping the current availability of maternity care in the Hurunui.
You can read the recommendations made on Hurunui Health Services Development Group webpage or directly by downloading the model of care.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
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