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Work to further improve child and maternity services

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health

18 March 2014

Work to further improve child and maternity services

Health Minister Tony Ryall says demonstration programmes underway in three DHBs have communities working together to improve local maternity and child health services.

The government has allocated $1.5 million across Counties Manukau, Nelson Marlborough and Lakes DHBs to roll out the demonstrations in Otara, Rotorua, Taupo, Turangi, Nelson and Blenheim.

“The demonstrations mean DHBs will work together with their local providers and communities to evaluate the effectiveness of current child and maternity services, and put in place steps to improve them,” says Mr Ryall.

“This could include anything from examining the way one health provider refers patients to another provider, or physically locating maternity and child health services closer together in the community.

“There are already great examples of this happening, including a new maternity drop-in centre in Turangi. The centre provides a range of assistance for mums and families, including maternity, child health and social support services such as Well Child/Tamariki Ora and Family Start.

“A mother with a young baby can come along to the centre for advice and support, such as help with feeding or even just a rest.

“We know that maternal and new-born health is fundamentally important for a broad range of health outcomes for children, and for the achievements of children as adolescents and adults. So any improvements identified through the demonstrations will have long-term benefits.

“The demonstrations respond to the need for an integrated approach to health services, and recognise that those who access and provide these services in their communities often have the best idea of how to achieve this.

“The government’s priority is to deliver better, sooner, more convenient care for all patients, and integrated health initiatives such as this play an important role in accomplishing this,” says Mr Ryall.

The demonstration programmes will run until February 2016.

ENDS

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