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Good progress in Porirua social sector trial

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health

16 October 2015

Good progress in Porirua social sector trial

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Porirua social sector trial in the Wellington region has resulted in a decrease in children hospitalised for untreated skin conditions.

“As a result of the social sector trial families in Porirua are getting more support to get well and stay healthy,” says Dr Coleman.

“The trial aims to reduce the number of children hospitalised with preventable conditions such as asthma, respiratory tract infections, dental problems and skin infections.

“From July 2012 to March 2015 there was a 61 per cent decrease, from 44 to 27 annual presentations of cellulitis (a bacterial skin infection), for children aged 0-4 years, and a 32 per cent decrease, from 34 to 11 annual presentations, for children aged 5-14 years.

“School facilities have been improved to ensure children can properly wash their hands and have cuts treated effectively to reduce the risk of skin infections.

“As a result of the trial there has also been a 52 per cent increase in the number of children enrolled with the Wellington region’s Bee Healthy dental service, and more than 9,000 school children have been provided with dental packs.

“There is a nurse available at the Porirua WINZ office and at the District Court. The Porirua Asthma Service is also providing free swimming lessons to asthmatic children from low socio-economic families.”

The Porirua trial, which started in July 2013, is one of 16 social sector trials taking place in communities around New Zealand which involve agencies working together to get better results for families receiving social services.

“The trial shows what can be achieved by agencies and community providers working together. It’s a good example of enabling community leadership by locals who know their community and how best to target services and support,” says Dr Coleman.

The trial includes a wide range of cross agency work with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Te Puni Koriri and NZ Police, as well as Porirua City Council, local iwi and other local community leaders.


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