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SDHB and PHOs Launch Primary Care Project

Friday 29 February 2008

SDHB and Southland PHOs Launch Primary Care Nursing Project

Southland nurses are the focus of a new joint initiative between Southland District Health Board (SDHB) and the four Southland Primary Health Organisations (PHOs), in an effort to plan for future workforce requirements.

Isabel Radka, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, SDHB, said that the 'Primary and Community Nursing Development project' would result in a five-year strategic and action plan for the primary nursing workforce .

"Nurses are the largest professional group working in healthcare in Southland, and as such, they have the greatest potential to make changes to the way people manage their own health," Mrs Radka said.

"Significantly, the PHOs and primary care nurses are being asked to take more of a leadership role in helping people to manage their long term health issues in the community setting, rather than in hospital, meaning that their scope of practice is evolving and requiring new or different skills."

"This project is about looking at what the community and nurse employers will require of them in the next 5-10 years and planning to meet those needs,” she said.

Wendy Findlay, PHO Nursing Professional Advisor said that the project will include mapping the current nursing workforce ; identifying which initiatives and approaches are working well; assessing what will be needed resource - wise and skill -wise looking ahead; and looking at how to attract and retain nurses within the primary care and community settings.

"The project will focus on nurses across all environments outside of the public and private hospitals , including practice nurses, aged residential care nurses, organisational occupational health and safety nurses, Maori Health providers, corrections nurses, district nurses and rural based nurses," Mrs Findlay said.

"Nurses are all collectively supporting the Southland community to maintain their wellness or manage their health condition appropriately," said Mrs Radka.

"This project is a collaborative piece of work to support the future needs and capability of nurses working in a primary care or community setting.”

"In doing so, we will be able to better meet the changing needs of our community and deliver quality health care support."


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