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CE Newsletter - Interim CE Simon Everitt - 25 February 2020

New chapter heralded for Child Development Services in Bay of Plenty


New chapter heralded for Child Development Services in Bay of Plenty

Healthcare leaders are welcoming an exciting new chapter for child development services in the Bay of Plenty.

After nearly 22 years, the current Western Bay of Plenty child developmental services (CDS) provider, Te Whānau Kotahi (TWK) will be passing the baton to the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) from 1 March. The opportunity to improve and expand services for families were key factors in Te Whānau Kotahi’s decision said TWK Acting General Manager Beth Hughes.

“This decision was made after very careful consideration of how to take advantage of the significant opportunities to improve services presented by additional funding for Child Development Services through the 2019 Government Budget,” said Beth.

“The funding is intended to promote greater standardisation and access to Child Development Services nationally and to encourage local integration of services.”

CDS provide services for children who have neurological or developmental needs, and are mostly provided by therapists in the home or community settings.

With the BOPDHB already running CDS in the Eastern Bay, the fact it will now also oversee the Western Bay means greater opportunities for providing an accessible and integrated service. This will see the service evolve and develop for the children and families it currently supports, and for more children and their families in the future.

The Ministry of Health has been working alongside the parties, helping support a smooth transition and maintain continuity of service.

BOPDHB Community Paediatrician David Jones said he was excited at the prospect.

“I am very excited about the future,” said David. “With the new contract and innovation funding from the Ministry of Health, we have a fantastic opportunity to improve child development services across the Bay of Plenty.

“Through consultation with families, iwi, and our colleagues in education and the community, the DHB can develop a truly integrated service that will be responsive, deliver high quality care, and best meet the needs of local children and whanau.”

The BOPDHB wanted to recognise and thank Te Whanau Kotahi Trust for its work over more than two decades and its provision of such an important service.

All current TWK therapy staff have been offered employment with the BOPDHB going forward. In addition to this further staff members are being recruited.

Whakaari recovery update

I wanted to let you know that the DHB will be investing in ongoing resources to support the wellbeing of our staff after the Whakaari disaster. One on one psychosocial support continues on site at Whakatāne Hospital with Registered Psychologist Beryl Riley and Counsellor Anne Griffiths.

Free GP visits in relation to Whakaari are available for all BOPDHB staff until March 31. Further details on this and other support options available across the BOPDHB can be found on OnePlace here. The Recovery Team is working with Occupational Health to ensure a responsive process to support staff through the wellness process as it is needed and as they return to work. In addition tools and a workshop for managers are being developed to grow an understanding of the impact of trauma.

Operational debrief sessions have been held with a number of groups including those who worked in the Emergency Operations Centre, the Emergency Department and Acute Care Unit, Toi Te Ora Public Health Services, District Nurses, Stores, Pharmacy and Laboratory. We recognise the great team work that happened on that day so we are working to provide an opportunity to  feedback to us for organisational learning and changes to our plans. Further debrief sessions are planned. . If you have not attended a debrief and wish to do so, please get in touch.

The DHB is also integrated into the Emergency Management/ Whakatāne District Council Recovery Project so that we can be joined up to meet the needs of the wider community. The Recovery Project is focusing on the following areas; the social environment, economic environment and the natural environment.

What we’re seeing through this recovery phase, is that people respond to traumatic events in different ways, some find it therapeutic to share their perspective while for others this is potentially re-traumatising. With that in mind, we ask that if you’ve been approached to present or you are aware of meetings/conferences/symposiums regionally, nationally or internationally where Whakaari is a topic for discussions please contact our Recovery lead Josephine Peters with the details. This is to ensure requests are co-ordinated, appropriate people are presenting in appropriate forums with consistent material, and most importantly we can limit the exposure of re-traumatising staff as much as we can.

Annual Plan and annual planning for 2020

We are currently deep into the work of our annual planning process, and I wanted to talk a little on this and its importance.

Although annual planning may seem to interrupt the operations of our organisation, it is an essential part of our work. It keeps us focussed on our vision and priorities, responding to the directions and expectations of the Minister of Health, aligning our services, setting measures and maintaining financial accountability. It is important that we reflect on the current Annual Plan as it reflects the actions and priorities the organisation will resource and pay attention to in the coming year.

The Ministry of Health sent the planning guidance out to DHBs around Christmas. This guidance contains detailed advice on the expectations of District Health Boards in NZ for each planning priority. You can access these guidelines on the Ministry of Health website or if you are interested or if you want to get involved contact the Planning and Funding Team.

Importantly sitting besides this process is our work to develop our budget for next year. We are in the early stages of this process and we will not be provided with next years funding envelope (the amount of funding we will receive from the Government) until May of this year. However whaty is clear is that we will have ongoing challenges to live within the funding provided to us given the growth in services and demand that we are experiencing as a health system.

New model of medical care for Ōpōtiki residents and visitors


I wanted to end this newsletter with some positive news for our Eastern Bay community, and Ōpōtiki residents and visitors in particular.

1 March 2020 will see the opening of a new model of medical care in Ōpōtiki.This model will help shape the future of medical care in the area and I’m really happy to see the local GP community mobilising over this important matter.

The new model involves the three Ōpōtiki GP Practices working together with registered nurses, to provide 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, service from the Ōpōtiki Community Health Centre. The General Practices are Church St Surgery, Toi Ora Health and Whakatohea Health Centre.

Te Pou Oranga o Whakatohea Operations Manager, Louisa Erickson said this new service model is described as a nurseled Rural General Practice and General Practitioner supported service.

undefined Photo: Te Pou Oranga o Whakatohea Operations Manager, Louisa Erickson

“We believe that by working with the community, for the community, alongside the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and the Eastern Bay PHA, we have developed the best model to ensure a robust community-based health service in the Ōpōtiki area, now and into the future.”

“Our goal was to ensure that whānau no longer had to travel to Whakatāne Hospital for medical care that could be easily delivered here in Ōpōtiki, or assessed here and then referred onto a hospital-based service elsewhere,” Louisa said.

The service model Toi Ora Health GP, Dr Peter Conolly, one of the General Practitioners (GP), who has been involved with the establishment of this new health model for Ōpōtiki, said the three GP practices will work a roster system, each to provide one registered nurse and one on-call General Practitioner.

The General Practitioner will be available by phone, or face-to-face, and will arrange weekend clinics as required.

“We will provide urgent (acute) medical care in Ōpōtiki providing a bridge between primary (in the community) and secondary (in Whakatāne or another hospital).

• Regular hours 8am-5pm Monday – Friday from their individual GP practices.

• After hours 5pm to 10pm Monday – Friday from the Ōpōtiki Community Health Centre on a roster basis.

• Weekends and public holidays 8am – 10pm from the Ōpōtiki Community Health Centre on a roster basis.

• If needed, GPs will hold weekend clinics from the Ōpōtiki Community Health Centre. Benefits to the community Church Street Surgery, GP, Dr Lailani Mondares said “this community developed model of care, removes barriers to medical care for Ōpōtiki residents and visitors, and ensures there is sufficient clinical cover for when emergencies occur, both during and after hours in the Ōpōtiki area.

• Increased treatment options will be available after hours and during weekends and public holidays, as nurses will have more ability to treat a range of urgent conditions after hours and during weekends and public holidays.

• To get to see a doctor or nurse – phone your GP clinic or, if you don’t have one go to the Ōpōtiki Community Health Centre.

• Continued free access to the nurse-led service with nurses supported through access to an on-call GP.

• Face-to-face consultations with the on- call GP will be free for under-14 year olds, and for others there will be a fee.

• If a prescription is required, after hours or on weekends and public holidays it may incur a fee.

• Having an after-hours service reduces unnecessary and avoidable trips over the hill to Whakatāne Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“As well as the benefits described above, we will be providing a better medical service for all – locals and visitors, resulting in the Ōpōtiki Community Health Centre becoming better used,” Lailani concluded.

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