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$8.1M For Community Based Nursing Innovations

17 June 2002

$8.1 Million For Community Based Nursing Innovations

Health Minister Annette King today invited primary health care groups to consider applying to a new $8.1 million fund designed to encourage nurses to explore new ways of keeping people well or treating those already sick.

Ms King today announced the $8.1 million Primary Health Care Nursing Innovation Fund, part of the $400 million allocated to begin implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy over the next three years.

Ms King says the money - the first ever earmarked for primary health care nurses - is an investment in the country’s largest health workforce as well as in primary health care.

“Specifically, it will allow nurses to develop new ways of working collaboratively and co-operatively. Nurses provide important primary health services and are an integral part of our communities," Ms King said.

“There are more than 7500 Registered Nurses working in primary health care, many of them isolated from each other. Primary health care nursing services are fragmented through various contracts and service providers. We have Plunket nurses, District Nurses, Public Health Nurses, Practice Nurses, Maori nurses, and specialist nurses such as diabetes and asthma nurses.

“I want to encourage as many as appropriate to start working together. I also want to encourage nurses working outside of hospitals to start aligning themselves to the Primary Health Care Strategy and Primary Health Organisations.''

Ms King said good primary health care was crucial to improving the overall health of New Zealanders and reducing health inequalities.

“Nurses, alongside other health professionals, in particular doctors, can and should play an important part in this. With this funding I hope nurses can come up with models to improve health outcomes for those most in need, access to care, risk assessment, lifestyle planning, health promotion activities, disease prevention, disease management, early interventions and treatments, case management and care co-ordination.

“Nurses, GPs, community health workers and others all need to work together to build a stronger system which gives everyone the care they need.''

Primary Health Care Nursing Innovation Funding

Questions and Answers

What is a primary health care nurse?

Registered nurses with expertise in primary health care practice. Primary health care nurses work autonomously and collaboratively to promote, improve, maintain and restore health. Primary health care nursing encompasses population health, health promotion, disease prevention, first point of contact care and disease management across the lifespan. Partnership with people, individuals, whanau, communities and populations to achieve the shared goal of health for all is central to primary health care nursing.

How many primary health care nurses work in New Zealand?

In 2001, 7617 registered nurses said in their response to the Nursing Council's workforce survey that their type of work or employment setting could

include primary health care.

How much money is available in the nursing innovation funding?

The total is $8.1 million (GST inclusive). Funding of up to $7 million is available for the development of innovative nursing models. The Ministry of Health will retain up to $1.1m. This will be spent on evaluating the new models and to support nurses practising in primary health care settings to undertake postgraduate nursing programmes in primary health care. This support will also help the development of Primary Health Care nurse


How many innovative models will the money support?

It is anticipated that up to 10 models will be funded.

How will the money be allocated?

District Health Boards (DHBs) and providers must register their interest. All applications from providers must come through a DHB. DHBs need to provide comments to the Ministry of Health on each application, indicating which they support. This includes input from the Director of Nursing of the DHB or its provider arm. The amount available for each model will be determined when all successful applications have been agreed.

What will the funding be used for?

- Support the development of innovative models of primary health nursing practice to deliver on the objectives of the Primary Health Care Strategy.

- Allow for new models of nursing practice to develop and reduce current fragmentation and duplication of services.

- Assist in the transition of primary health care delivery to Primary Health Organisations.

Who is expected to apply for the funding?

Registrations of interest are invited from a variety of organisations and providers. This may involve joint arrangements across providers, including Primary Health Organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs), academic institutions, DHB provider arms, Independent Practice Associations (IPAs) and others.

What information must organisations include when registering their interest?

- The name of the organisation(s) seeking funding;

- Evidence that the organisation(s) meets the stated general criteria (see below);

- The geographical boundaries (as well as the population groups) of the proposed service delivery;

- A description of the proposed new primary health care nursing model and how it expects to change practice and promote collaboration and integration with nursing groups, and other health professionals.

- Anticipated changes or benefits that will result from implementation of the proposal; and

- The three-year time period for which funding is required, ie, 2002/03 - 2004/05 or 2003/04-2005/06.

What general criteria must be demonstrated by organisations seeking funding?

They must show how they will:

- Help in the delivery of the Primary Health Care Strategy;

- Work within a Primary Health Organisation environment;

- Deliver on the primary health care nursing framework and its vision and goals for primary health care nursing;

- Develop a model that reflects the service priority areas of the DHB or provider with regard to primary health care;

- Support and consult with key stakeholders from different service groups affected by the model;

- Support and utilise effectively nursing leadership;

- Enhance collaboration between nurses and other health professionals;

- Enable the more effective use of existing primary health care nurses by reducing fragmentation and duplication;

- Involve nurses with knowledge and experience in primary health care nursing;

- Enable nurses to be seconded or released from current work settings if necessary to form teams or work on projects, and provide the necessary organisational support.

What will DHBs do in this process?

DHBs need to support registrations of interest from providers as the providers are likely to require reconfiguration or development of services which the DHB may be directly providing or funding via contractual arrangement. Providers should approach the DHB during the developmental phase to clarify DHB expectations. DHBs should inform all relevant providers and their provider arm services of this opportunity and also provide support and advice to groups who are developing proposals.

What will the successful nursing models do?

They will help to implement the Primary Health Care Strategy and could focus on any of the population strategies that fall under the New Zealand Health Strategy. This includes: the Child Health Strategy, Maori Health Strategy, Pacific Health and Disability Action Plan or Health of Older People Strategy.

What are the key Primary Health Strategy aims?

The strategy places a high priority on addressing high health needs, reducing inequalities in health status and supporting the development of Maori

and Pacific providers.

Who should queries about the opportunity to register interest in the Primary Health Care Nursing Innovations Funding be directed to?

Pamela Lee, Senior Analyst, Clinical Services Directorate Ministry of Health PO Box 5013 Wellington, ph: (04) 496 2398, email:

When should registrations of interest be sent to the Ministry of Health?

August 2, 2002.

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