Bay Navigator

CE Newsletter - Interim CE Simon Everitt - 4 February 2020

New Mental Health and Addictions facilities at Tauranga and Whakatane


4 February 2020

New Mental Health and Addictions facilities at Tauranga and Whakatane


By now I’m sure you will have heard the news, announced by the government last week, that our DHB is to receive funding for two new Mental Health and Addictions facilities. We will be getting $30 million for a Tauranga facility and $15 million for one in Whakatāne. It’s wonderful news.

First and foremost it’s wonderful news for our patients, their whānau and the communities we serve; as they will be the ones who will benefit from these new facilities in the future.

It will give us the opportunity to create two purpose-built, future-proofed, facilities with the needs of patients and their whānau and our staff at the forefront of the design. We will be able to take a fresh look at the way we provide care, taking greater account of the cultural appropriateness of our services, and design these new facilities accordingly. That’s a unique opportunity.

The demand for mental healthcare in the Bay of Plenty is ever increasing. Acute mental health services are for those patients who are in need of urgent inpatient care. Acute mental health services include access to specialist psychiatric care, intensive psychiatric care and detoxification facilities. All of these will be enhanced within the new facilities.”

Our Board Chair Sir Michael Cullen has also warmly welcomed the news.

“In the Eastern Bay, the funding there gives us an opportunity to upgrade our inpatient mental health and addiction facility to one which more appropriately reflects modern care practices, is built around modern design principles and the needs of our patients and their families. Importantly, with our high Māori population in the Eastern Bay, this facility needs to better reflect their needs.

“In Tauranga, our rapidly expanding population means that bed capacity is an issue we will now be able to address. We are also caring for an increasing number of patients locally who have a greater complexity of need. This means we are able to care for these patients closer to home in the most appropriate care setting to support them. This new mental health and addiction facility will more readily enable that.

Construction on the two facilities is expected to get underway in the next 12-18 months.


Innovation and Improvement team formed


In my last newsletter, I shared with you our strategic priorities for the next 12-18 months. Whilst achieving these priorities is everyone’s responsibility, we are aiming to have more of a co-ordinated effort that will deliver tangible, sustainable and whole system health improvement for our Bay of Plenty communities.

To support this, two teams – the Service Improvement Unit in the Provider Arm and the Service Development and Delivery team in Planning and Funding - have joined together their resource and expertise under the banner of Innovation and Improvement. Their purpose is to provide an organisational focal point to enable, lead and support innovation and improvement efforts across the health network. They will work across the whole system, as a change engine, helping us to coordinate action around our strategic priorities.

“It’s a privilege to work with people who have knowledge and experience in leading and enabling large scale change efforts and a track record in building organisational capability to support continuous quality improvement,” says Manager Innovation and Improvement Sarah Davey.

“We are aiming to apply a collaborative and integrated approach to improvement. One of our first tasks will be to help the organisation to map out specific actions and activities to support each of the strategic priority areas.”

If you are interested in finding out more and networking with others who are undertaking improvement work, there is a Quality Improvement Network Meeting each Monday morning at 9.30am, which is video-linked between both sites.

At Tauranga Hospital this meeting is held in the Nikau Room, whilst at Whakatāne Hospital it is in the Level 1 VC Meeting Room. Anyone with an interest in, or who is involved in, Quality Improvement projects is welcome to attend.

More information on the Innovation and Improvement Team is also available on the team’s OnePlace page.


Allied Health staff education update

At the DHB we recognise the importance of helping our clinical staff achieve their highest potential and, to this end, we’re supporting a number of our Allied Health staff in furthering their education.

Our Allied Health Executive Director Sarah Mitchell said: “We are keen to attract not only the best clinicians to the Bay but also to support their professional development and retain their expertise. We have deliberately identified areas of practice which are aligned to the strategic direction of the organisation.”

Here’s a snapshot of some of the areas those staff members are currently studying.

Jennifer Stillwell - Physiotherapist (2nd year at AUT completing a Doctorate of Health Science)


Jennifer is undertaking research to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a Community Orthopaedic Triage Service in New Zealand primary care.

With an ever increasing demand on healthcare services to provide timely access to assessment and treatment for patients with musculoskeletal complaints such as osteoarthritis, there is a growing need for alternative models of care.

Advanced Physios have the ability to examine, provide early conservative management strategies & reassurance to patients that are currently referred to Orthopaedic Surgeons with Osteoarthritis. The aim of the project is to evaluate this model in a NZ context.


Gary McNicholl - Inpatient Physiotherapy Team Lead & Informatics Programme Lead (2nd year at AUT completing a Doctorate of Health Science)


Gary’s research is looking into the Care Capacity Demand Management programme (CCDM) for Allied Health.

This is important as Allied Health teams across New Zealand are capturing activity data to show the value-add of Allied Health, and how they can contribute this activity to patient outcomes and improving system level measures.

The overall goal is safe and effective staffing levels for Allied Health which will ensure happy, healthy workplaces, quality care and optimal patient outcomes.

Emma Green - Project Coordinator


Emma is engaged in research focussed on Allied Health and nursing interprofessional practice and the tools that can be used to progress workforce models from hospital centric/discipline specific to community centric, transdisciplinary ways of working.

This links in with strategic health objective 2 which seeks to strengthen community resource by ‘promoting and progressing interdisciplinary community teams to enable people to stay well, and get well’, and specifically the Keeping Me Well initiative within the Integrated Health Strategic area.

It will explore the tools utilised with the Bay of Plenty District Health Board to facilitate workforce evolution and explore the outcome for staff around professional, institutional, system and team boundaries and the resulting impact on their practice.

Leigh Haldane - Physiotherapy Professional Leader


Leigh is currently enrolled in a Masters of Public Health through Auckland University. She is about to undertake a qualitative research piece in partnership with Professor Ngaire Kerse (Auckland University) and Dr Anna Rolleston (Centre For Health) exploring the use of technology to promote healthy aging and wellbeing among Māori living in the Bay of Plenty.

The research will specifically focus on the LifeCurve app and co-design to look at the essential components and elements to include for tangata whenua.

Yuvaraj Nagarajan - Physiotherapist

Yuvaraj is undertaking the GLAD (Good Life with osteoarthritis in Denmark) programme - a physiotherapyled, 8-week, group-based programme focussed on delivering best-practice management for patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis. It involves using neuromuscular exercise to improve stability and sensori-motor delicences in the knee joint.

GLAD was first developed in Denmark and has been successfully implemented in Canada, Australia, Switzerland and China. In New Zealand, GLAD’s first group of practitioners attended training in November 2019.

To read more click here

Back to latest