Bay Navigator

Clinical Matters Newsletter - February 2022

Welcome to the February 2022 Edition of Clinical Matters!

In this issue...

  • New Geriatric Nurse Specialist
    in the EBOP
  • Referral Process for Activity with Arthritis (AWA) - Please use the COTS eReferral Form
  • Potential Impact of COVID-19 Omicron on Home Support Services
  • MRI Scanner - Whakatāne
  • Connecting GPs with our Local SMOs (Both Tauranga and Whakatāne)
  • Midland HealthPathways


New Geriatric Nurse Specialist in the EBOP

The BOPDHB Community Geriatrics Service provides specialist geriatric intervention for older adults living with increased frailty in the community. Referral to this service was previously only available in the WBOP but there is now a new geriatric specialist nurse available in the EBOP.  Keep an eye out for the new BPAC e-referral page for referral guidelines and criteria to be available in the next few days.


Potential Impact of COVID-19 Omicron on Home Support Services

If Omicron COVID-19 cases increase, there is the potential for staff shortages in homecare, and homecare organisations will need to scale back services temporarily.  Read more information here.


Connecting GPs with our Local SMOs (Both Tauranga and Whakatāne)

We continue to have GPs join our local GP/SMO Platform on Celo Health.  This is a great messaging platform for quick questions between GPs and SMOs in both directions (NB. not for acute patient referrals).

If you haven't already joined, simply download the free app - - and text our GP Liaison Dr Chris Tofield on 022 150 1058 for an invite to the group. We are still working on increasing the number of SMOs in the group, but already have a great breadth of specialties represented, from ortho to paediatrics to renal.


Referral Process for Activity With Arthritis (AWA) - Please use the COTS eReferral Form

You may be aware of the ‘Activity with Arthritis’ (AWA) programme provided via Body in Motion physiotherapy throughout the Bay of Plenty.
AWA is an evidence informed 10-week programme of combined education and exercise for patients with osteoarthritis affecting hip and knee joints.
This service is funded via the BOPDHB orthopaedic service. As such, please direct all referrals for AWA to the Community Orthopaedic Triage Service (COTS) via the BPAC eReferral form, rather than contacting Body in Motion directly.
Please get in touch if you have any queries via


MRI Scanner - Whakatāne Hospital

There was a recent article in the Beacon that suggested that the planned MRI scanner for Whakatāne hospital may not go ahead. The CEO of the BOPDHB Pete Chandler has reassured the EBOP that this is still going ahead and delivery is expected in August 2022. Allowing for time and COVID-19 interruptions it is planned that it should be operational by Christmas 2022.


Midland HealthPathways Update

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