Bay Navigator

Clinical Matters Newsletter - December 2020

Welcome to the December 2020 Edition of Clinical Matters!

In this issue...

  • Threshold Change for Gynaecology
  • Making Effective ENT Referrals - Some Messages From the Department
  • Expression of Interest: GPs With a
    Special Interest in
  • No Need to Re-Refer Patients With Equipment Issues to the Sleep-Service - Contact Details Within
  • Changes to the Arms Act - Information for Health Practitioners
  • Referrals to the Community Care Coordination Service (CCC)
  • End of Year Summary for the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand
  • Midland HealthPathways


Threshold Change for Gynaecology Referrals

This is to advise that the threshold for gynaecology FSA is now lowered to accept Grade 3 referrals for FSA.

For more information about the grading click here


Expressions of Interest: GPs With a Special Interest in Gynaecology

BOPDHB is considering whether some gynaecology services could be offered via providers in primary care - for instance, changing ring pessaries, cervical polyp removal, lichen sclerosus surveillance or pipelle biopsies. Funding and training would be made available for these activities. Ideally interested GPs would be geographically dispersed across the BOP to provide local services to patients.

Interested GPs would need to be committed to delivering the services described and potentially more as the project develops.

If you would like to express your interest, please contact


Changes to the Arms Act - Information for Health Practitioners

The Arms Legislation Act 2020 introduced changes to the Arms Act 1983 which came into effect from 24 December 2020.

The changes aim to reduce harm from firearms.

The December 2020 amendments will mean:

1. Health practitioners must consider notifying Police of health concerns related to their patient's firearm access,

2. Police will notify health practitioners when their patient has been issued with a firearms license.

Please click here for more information.


End of Year Summary for the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand

COVID-19 hit countless organisations across the world hard in 2020. The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand was no exception, but it continued to deliver as much care and support for New Zealanders living with hepatitis B as possible in the challenging times.

To read the end of year summary click here

Left - Three of the Hepatitis Foundation of NZ's community nurses (from left: Becky Leong, Helen Purcell and Siaw Ling Chia) at the 2020 Chinese New Year festival last January.
Right - Hepatitis Foundation of NZ CEO Susan Hay


Making Effective ENT Referrals - Some Messages From the Department

How can you make the most effective ENT referrals? Some messages from the department to help:

  • Neck lumps and thyroid swellings should be referred to the general surgeons in the first instance. The surgeons will refer on to ENT where necessary.
  • Please check whether your patients would like to access any private insurance policies they may hold before referring via the public ENT service. Some patients are progressing to the public system first appointments then converting to private cover, which causes delay and reduces public system capacity.
  • Where a patient presents with hearing loss, please ask them to obtain a private audiogram where possible and attach this to an ENT referral. If a private audiogram is not possible for financial or other reasons, please state this in the referral.
  • ACC covered issues should ideally be referred to privately, especially fractured noses which BOPDHB does not contract for.
  • If you are having issues with a referral, please feel free to contact the ENT doctor on-call to discuss the matter - we want to help you work through problems.


No Need to Re-Refer Patients With Equipment Issues to the Sleep Service - Contact Details Within

Is your patient with sleep apnoea having problems with equipment, compliance or mask fitting?

Are they already known to the BOPDHB Sleep Service?

If so, there is no need to re-refer them - the patient can simply call the Sleep Disorder Unit Helpline on 0800 267 999 


Referrals to the Community Care Coordination Service (CCC)

The Health in Ageing team have asked us to pass on that they are receiving Support Net/Allied Health/CCC referrals often not containing sufficient information. It's important to have those details so that they can decide which community team is selected for reviewing the patient. Insufficient information will lead to the referral being "passed around", creating sometimes substantial delays for the patient.


Midland HealthPathways Update

New pathways for GPs on HealthPathways
The following pathways are now live on our HealthPathways site for you to use:

  • Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) in adults
  • Syringe Drivers
  • Sulfasalazine Shared Care Guidance
  • Heart Failure
  • Lung Cancer
  • Inflammatory Arthritis

And remember there is up-to-date information on all matters Covid-19 for primary care on Health Pathways, including national as well as local information.

HealthPathways is a collection of management guidelines specifically tailored to primary care.  Our GP Liaison team is in the process of 'localising' these pathways to the Bay of Plenty, i.e, making them relevant to GPs and other primary care providers specifically in the Bay of Plenty.  You'll find valuable pointers on history, examination, treatment and of course when and how to refer patients on to other services.  These pathways will, over time, be replacing the Bay Navigator pathways.

Dr Chris Tofield, Dr Dan Jackson, and Dr Paula Taylor
Click here to email the Bay Navigator team
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