Media information For immediate release
Date: 13 March 2009
Right Care, Right Time, Right Place
Patients visiting Health Waikato rural hospitals and continuing care facilities will get some extra special care now.
Someone to speak up for them, ask the questions they didn't even know they needed to, help get them back to their community sooner and just make the journey as a patient that much smoother.
That person is Annette Bradley-Ingle a newly appointed nurse co-ordinator: rural patient liaison.
Mrs Bradley-Ingle has just returned from five years in the UK and after just two weeks into the 12-month pilot says, she wants to see patients get back to their communities faster.
"It is also evident that Waikato Hospital staff and those working in the rural hospitals work hard to ensure smooth and timely transfers for rural patients.
"I'm hoping this role will assist them to further improve the quality and speed of these processes, and over time this should help to significantly reduce staff and patient frustrations."
A South Australian concept for rural people receiving treatment at large city hospitals was the pilot for the project.
Rural and Community Services manager Jill Dibble, while visiting Australia on business in 2008 observed the model.
Mrs Dibble brought the concept back to her peers and interest around it has been high ever since.
"Everybody seems to be embracing the model, which is great," said Mrs Dibble.
"Particularly those staff who work in the rural areas, as frustrations around getting patients back into their home communities in a timely manner, is something that has been realised for some time."
Taumarunui Hospital and Family Health Team manager Tina Baker took the lead as the rural representative in the planning stage.
Representatives from all areas of rural and community services and hospital-based colleagues are part of the ongoing working group.
Ms Baker said it was a lot more beneficial to patients' recovery from a holistic perspective, if they can be cared for in their own community.
"This is about patient centred care - right care, right time, right team, right place," said Mrs Bradley-Ingle.
"Patients no longer requiring secondary level care should have access to services in their local communities in a well planned and timely manner, which is where my role will assist."
Mrs Dibble said a patient's journey is a shared responsibility across the sector.
"There are several patient journeys, including: home to hospital, community service to hospital, hospital to hospital and hospital to community.
"Each healthcare worker has a responsibility to ensure effective handover of care to the next healthcare provider or facility, and that is why it is so important that this project be as collaborative as it is."
While Mrs Bradley-Ingle's role currently consists of working on patient cases between Waikato Hospital and Health Waikato's rural hospitals; Taumarunui, Te Kuiti, Tokoroa and Thames and at continuing care facilities in Te Awamutu (Matariki) and Morrinsville (Rhoda Read), there are plans to broaden the scope.
"After 12 months, the position will be reviewed and if continued, I hope it will be broadened to include more rural and community-based work as well as hospital," she said.