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Successful weekend for West Coast medical families

Media release

6 September 2011

Successful weekend for West Coast medical families

A weekend for West Coast health professionals focusing on inter-disciplinary learning proved extremely successful, according to organisers and participants.

The West Coast PHO held its first weekend away for GPs and Rural Nurse Specialists (RNSs) at Punakaiki at the end of last month. Thirteen GPs and eight RNSs from Karamea to South Westland and “all places in between” attended, organiser Fiona Doolan-Noble, said.

“The aim of the weekend was to provide participants with an opportunity to share skills in an inter-disciplinary setting as well as meet with colleagues from across the Coast,” she said.

Partners and children were also encouraged to attend, which proved a very popular approach.

“The involvement of families was very well received, because people working in rural health don’t get a lot of time with their families, and it’s hard for them to spend a weekend away.”

Topics included emergency planning in primary care, end of life care, self-care on the West Coast, and “stitching things up” which involved some handy practice on pigs trotters, Anthony Cooke, the PHO’s CEO said.

“People working in rural health find themselves facing similar situations in isolated locations, and coming together like this is an opportunity to learn together to see what can be done better.”

Paul Cooper, GP in Westport, said events such as the weekend away which included a mix of people from the health sector and involved partners and families would be important to “build and sustain the teams necessary to realise the vision for health on the West Coast”.

“Hopefully this will be the start of further meetings which will grow to involve other members of our rural team.”

Fiona Doolan-Noble said there were definitely plans to hold a similar event next year and the intention was to expand it to include a wider range of health professionals.

© Scoop Media

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