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Healthcare summit proves invaluable

30 October 2006

Healthcare summit proves invaluable

Bay of Plenty District Health Board Primary Health Portfolio Manager Phil Back has described the recent Primary and Community Healthcare Summit at Whakatane as "invaluable."

Mr Back says that the speakers, presentations and group discussions were absolutely priceless to the health board.

"No amount of funding or research could have achieved what the group of 160 participants from throughout the region accomplished together during the summit."

"We have emerged from the summit with a broadened understanding of the delivery of primary and community healthcare, and it was excellent to see such a large number of services within our communities that are working exceptionally well to meet local service needs," says Mr Back.

An example of an Eastern Bay of Plenty initiative that has proved to be a huge success is the Walk to Health Challenge, organised via the Eastern Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation in partnership with Sports Bay of Plenty. The challenge is in its second year, and is growing from strength to strength, with more than 1600 people expected to participate this year.

In the Western Bay, Nga Mataapuna Oranga Primary Health Organisation was commended for their Kaupapa Maori Nursing Development programme, which has seen a high level of participants entering the nursing workforce. The programme aims to produce 100 Maori nurse graduates over the next decade.

Further presentations demonstrated a wide variety of flexible and locally effective programmes in place, such as a network to reduce the prevalence of family violence, and a small, professional and dedicated team in Te Kaha that works smarter within its resources to deliver services within and outside normal GP practice hours.

A broad range of providers across the sectors attended the forum, including nursing, allied health, and Maori providers, and the key message from the day was about recognising that services need to be developed from the ground up to accurately reflect the unique nature of our special communities.

"As a health board, it has re-emphasised to us that providers must be engaged from the outset regarding effective and appropriate service development and delivery," says Mr Back.

The summit signalled the beginning of a robust community consultation process to be undertaken by the Grafton Consulting Group which aims to progress the initiatives demonstrated and also identify new opportunities to further enhance these sectors from a collaborative approach, working in partnership with providers and communities. It is anticipated that the consultation will be completed by April 2007.


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