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Shorecare Officially Opens New Specialist Suite, Korowai Ora


Shorecare officially opened their new specialist wing, Korowai Ora, this week at their Smales Farm clinic. Local kaumātua, Reverend John Marsden CNZM blessed the new area and led the Shorecare team in a morning filled with waiata, kai, and whanaungatanga. The new space will be used to provide a range of new services to the community, including a dedicated children’s clinic, complex wound clinic, point of care ultrasound, and minor surgery.

The name, Korowai Ora, which means cloak of wellbeing, was suggested by Reverend John Marsden. Each of the rooms in the new wing is named after a native bird, such as kereru and pūkeko, which come together to make up the cloak or korowai. The opening event highlighted Shorecare’s growing partnership with Te Puna Hauora, a local Māori health organisation, and focus on incorporating Māori language and values into their service. Dr Robyn Theakston, Clinical Director, said that they are committed to providing a “welcoming and culturally safe service that is accessible to all”.

The children’s clinic or ‘KidsQ’ is a new service that is being delivered in the Korowai Ora wing. The KidsQ is being run daily between 6-10pm, with a dedicated doctor seeing children on an appointment basis. This initiative was established to save parents from waiting for an extended time with unsettled, sick children. Sarah Peters, Nurse Manager, said that the KidsQ “has made a big difference, and is a much better experience for parents”. Dr Robyn Theakston agreed, saying that “we are now looking at extending it out to 11pm as we have received such great feedback”. This service is free for children aged 13 and under that are eligible for healthcare in New Zealand.

The official opening of Korowai Ora was a much needed celebration for the Shorecare team who have been busy since March with COVID-19 testing. Shorecare have been a key part of the health response to COVID-19 on the North Shore, running a community-based assessment centre at their Northcross clinic, as well as providing mobile testing and pop-up services where needed. They are also contracted to provide testing for staff at the Ports of Auckland. Sarah Peters said that for them, “it is really important to keep the community safe from the virus” and that while there has been a lot of work involved, “the whole experience has been great team building”. This sentiment was also shared by Dr Robyn Theakston, who said that “the team has a real family vibe, and everyone has worked so well together”.

Theakston reported that they are constantly looking for “new ways to provide patient-focussed services to the community that bridge the gap between general practice and hospital based services” and will look at adding further services such as iron infusions in the future in consultation with the local general practices.

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