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WellSouth Success with Health Target

WellSouth Success with Health Target

For Immediate Release Friday 27 May 2016

WellSouth Primary Health Network is helping more people in Otago and Southland quit smoking than ever before. Ministry of Health results were released today showing the southern region has moved from a ranking of 32 at 1 January 2015 to second place in the current quarter.

The national health target deems that 90 percent of smokers seen by a health practitioner are offered advice and support to quit smoking. These targets are for all New Zealand Primary Health Organisations.There are close to 34,000 identified smokers in Otago and Southland.

WellSouth Primary Health Service Manager, Kaylene Holland said the leap came from actively working with practices, supporting them to identify patients who were smokers and providing practice league reports in the form of ‘barometer reports’ to motivate practices toward improved performance.

“Our role is to support general practice to engage with their smoking patients. We knew we had a real problem in this area and so have dedicated a range of resources to helping practices track and monitor patients”.

Amity Health Centre GP Dr Phil White says that the support has been critical in supporting patients to stop smoking. “WellSouth have taken an active part in helping practices to reach out to patients who smoke, in some cases coming into the practice at all hours of the day to make the necessary phone calls. They have been very proactive both within practices and in the community as a whole”.

Dr Keith Abbott, WellSouth GP Smokefree Champion says that it has been a long road to achieving the target with many obstacles negotiated along the way.

“Practices can be rightly proud of their efforts. I would also like to mention the WellSouth practice support team who did a fantastic job assisting practices achieve the targets. The Ministry has signalled that helping smokers to quit will remain a health target while New Zealand strives to be smokefree by 2025. With ongoing attention to the target we can give our patients the best chance to stop smoking and lead healthy lifestyles for themselves and their whanau”.

The national health targets set for all New Zealand Primary Health Organisations are:

• More help for smoking cessation - 90 percent of patients who smoke and are seen by a health practitioner in primary care are offered brief advice and support to quit smoking.

• Immunisation - 95 percent of eight-month-olds will be immunised at six weeks, three months and five months.

• More heart and diabetes checks - 90 percent of the eligible population will have had their cardiovascular risk assessed in the last five years.

ENDS

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