Mihi nui ki a koe

Sitting in the crowd at a Ministry of Health conference I felt proud of Total Healthcare’s provider Nirvana Health for its values of quality service and access for all.

Shifting healthcare closer to home and how we transform to achieve that was the theme of the conference in late February. Health minister David Clark spoke about his commitment to strengthening primary care and addressing the inequities that high needs patients face, especially with respect to affordability and access. The conference focused on the concept of reducing demand on hospitals and extra support for patients by strengthening primary care, ie, shifting services closer to home.

Recognition for our expertise

As I listened to conference workshops I was taking stock of how Total Healthcare and Nirvana Health measured up against expert advice.

Nirvana has always offered its largely high needs patients easy access through walk ins and low fees, and has worked tirelessly to achieve services closer to home.

We were acknowledged at the conference for leading the sector in implementing self-management support and education for our patients with long-term conditions, with an emphasis on improving the health of our patients with diabetes.

Presenters also acknowledged Total Healthcare and Nirvana Health’s expertise in integrating mental wellbeing and support for people with long-term conditions. This is achieved through a workforce that includes psychologists, peer support workers, health coaches and clinical family navigators, who provide support close to home for our patients.

We plan to stay at the vanguard of primary care and always adhere to our values of innovation and access to improve the health of our nation.

Gandhi Nivas expands in Auckland

It’s great to see Gandhi Nivas expanding its services to prevent family harm in Auckland with the opening of a new house in Te Atatu in March. (See the news item below).

Total Healthcare is always looking to improve the health of its patients by addressing as many determinants of health as possible, physical, psychological and social.

Gandhi Nivas is a partnership among the Serenity Foundation, Total Healthcare PHO, NZ Police and Sahaayta Counselling & Social Support and funders MSD and ACC.

It provides free counselling, emergency housing and referral to social services for men referred to them by police.

The first house opened in 2014 in Otahuhu, and it has already helped more than 860 families of 19 ethnicities. A third house is due to open in Papakura this month.

Gandhi Nivas's work is overseen by a governance board with representatives from NZ Police, ACC, Serenity Foundation and Total Healthcare, and Massey University provides independent audit of its work.

Check out the new Gandhi Nivas website that went live this week.

Mark Vella
Executive Officer

Gandhi Nivas opens new Te Atatu house

Gandhi Nivas, which prevents family harm by providing men with early intervention services, has opened its second house in Auckland.

The new house in Te Atatu allows Gandhi Nivas to expand its services to help families in Waitemata and Central Auckland.

Men are referred to the houses by police for free counselling and emergency housing, providing them with free services to prevent family harm.

The service ensures victims to do not have to leave their homes and families, and men have a place to cool down, think things through and get help.

Men referred to Gandhi Nivas get assistance within 24 hours of referral. Clients’ family are offered counselling and support.

New Mana Kidz nurse prescribers

East Tamaki Healthcare's Mana Kidz registered nurses have a new skill that is expected to reduce clinic waiting times and provide faster treatment for patients.

Pictured above are ETHC Mana Kidz nurses, from left, Lyn Loh, Sholyn Lal and Harpal K Singh with nurse development manager Reshmi Lata Chand.

The nurses are part of a 12-month Counties Manukau DHB trial of registered nurses prescribing involving 33 nurses working in schools and the community.

The trial started in July 2017 with six months' training, developed by Counties Manukau DHB in conjunction with the Nursing Council of New Zealand, that includes supervision and mentoring by doctors.

Following successful training, the Mana Kidz nursing trio started 2018 being able to prescribe a limited list of prescription and other medications to treat common conditions like skin and ear infections and sore throats.

Their training allows them to extend their work treating children in Otara schools to also helping adult patients in clinics.

Skills toolkit to grow parents' confidence

A new course giving parents practical tips to build healthy relationships with their children started last month at Nirvana Health's STARCare Centre in Otara.

No more tears at bedtime or shopping trip meltdowns is the dream of many parents.

Nirvana Health psychologist Elaine Allison, right, and peer support specialist and health coach Merle Samuels, left, hope to turn those dreams into a reality.

Elaine and Merle are qualified practitioners for Triple P – the Positive Parenting Programme developed in New Zealand. It provides research-based strategies to encourage good behaviour from children and support parents to be confident in their parenting skills.

The programme has been used worldwide and with many different cultures and is free for Nirvana Health patients with children aged 2–12 years.

Support for staff to enter Round the Bays

Total Healthcare in association with Nirvana Health supported a staff team of 100 to enter the Round the Bays event in Auckland.

The 8.4km course follows the picturesque Auckland waterfront from Quay Street to St Heliers Bay.

Nirvana Health's team joined more than 26,000 people on the annual race that supported three charities this year – the Lifeline support helpline, South Auckland-based Riding for the Disabled and Spirit of Adventure Trust.

Working together to improve health outcomes

Total Healthcare contracts Nirvana Health Group as its management support organisation to provide medical and management services required in the PHO/DHB contracts across Auckland. Nirvana Health providers include East Tamaki Healthcare, West Auckland Healthcare, Mt Roskill Healthcare and White Cross.
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