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More newborns being connected with health services

More newborns being connected with health services

12 June 2014

The Newborn Enrolment Programme, which supports early enrolment of newborns with health services, has had a positive impact since it went live in October 2013.

Through this programme, parents are encouraged to engage with health services, such as GPs, National Immunisation Register, Well Child/Tamariki Ora providers, newborn hearing screening, and oral health. MDHB has developed one form to allow parents to enrol patients with all these services, making the process streamlined, and saving the duplication of paperwork.

Of the 532 children born in the first quarter of 2014, that live in the MidCentral region, only four are recorded as having ‘GP unknown’. Parents of the others have all found GPs themselves, or have found one with support of the Newborn Enrolment Coordinator.

Working to incorporate the newborn enrolment form into the Maternity Ward’s procedures, has also meant that more children are picked up earlier, requiring less follow up from the coordinator.

Portfolio Manager, Child and Youth Health Barb Bradnock is very pleased with how well the programme is working.

“The improvement in enrolment numbers under this programme has been very encouraging. Engaging parents and their newborns in the health system is a priority, and the hard work of our coordinator has made a real difference to the wellbeing of these babies.”

In addition to the work of the coordinator, a lot of work has been done by the Central Primary Health Organisation, General Practices, and maternity staff, to ensure that there is 100% enrolment for babies in the MidCentral district.

On top of these figures, only three children have no Well Child/Tamariki Ora provider recorded. This is because they were either home births, or were born out of the area, and have not been contactable; two children also have no provider recorded, as the parents chose not to use the service. Every other child is enrolled with a provider.

Mrs Bradnock said: “It is apparent that engaging children with health services early in life will have long-term benefits for their health. This programme will not only improve the health outcomes for children in the short term, but will make a big difference for them in years to come.”

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