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New Service Configuration Means Wider Coverage

Media information
For immediate release

Date: Friday, 12 December 2008

New Service Configuration Means More, Wider Coverage

After three years of consultation and planning, Waikato District Health Board is putting more money into child and youth mental health and addictions services.

Following a review of Waikato DHB's child and youth mental health and addiction services by the Werry Centre in 2006, the DHB's Planning and Funding division worked with service providers, service users and their families to adopt a more comprehensive system.

This comes into effect on 1 May, 2009.

While the Werry Report identified services to children and young people with serious mental health illness in the Waikato DHB region were generally of good quality, it also found they were uncoordinated and working in isolation from one another.

"This increased the risk that children and young people could miss out on services they needed," said Waikato DHB Planning and Funding general manager Brett Paradine.

Following consultation, Waikato DHB requested proposals from groups of providers to work together on the joint provision of services for children and young people, and their families.

"The new care arrangement will see more community-based services offered, which among other benefits will improve access to these services. It also offers more comprehensive coverage throughout the region," said Mr Paradine.

Waikato DHB accepted the following proposals and each will be providing services as a group from next year:

1. Greater Hamilton Integrated Network, serving Hamilton City, Waikato, Matamata-Piako, and part of Waipa (Cambridge and surrounds) districts:

§ Hauora Waikato Kaupapa Maaori Mental Health Service
§ Ngaa Ringa Awhina; and
§ Health Waikato Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health

2. Southern Cluster, serving South Waikato; Otorohanga, King Country and part of Waipa (Te Awamutu and surrounds) and part of Ruapehu (Taumarunui and surrounds) districts:

§ Raukawa Trust Board
§ Te Rohe Potae o Rereahu Maniapoto Trust
§ Te Ngaru o Maniapoto Services
§ Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust
§ Health Waikato Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Addiction Service
§ Whai Marama Youth Connex
§ The Youth Horizons Trust; and
§ Rostrevor House

Hauraki Cluster, serving Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki districts:

§ Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki
§ Health Waikato Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Addictions Service
§ Whai Marama Youth Connex
§ The Youth Horizons Trust; and
§ Rostrevor House.

There are eight Waikato child and youth mental health and addiction providers affected by unsuccessful group proposals, and may therefore not have agreements renewed with Waikato DHB to provide these services beyond May 2009. However, many of these organisations will continue to provide services under other agreements with the DHB.

"There is a skills shortage within the child and youth mental health sector, so it is vital that we try to retain staff who lose their roles through this process," said Mr Paradine.

A total of 23.5 full time equivalent (FTE) positions will become available through replacement contracts under the new agreements, and staff who are not able to be redeployed in their own organisations will have the opportunity to apply for these positions.

The services covered by these arrangements are only for the region's 3-5 per cent most seriously mentally ill children and youth.

ENDS

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