Mihi nui ki a koe

In this last message from the PHO for 2015, I extend my thanks to you for your support this year. It’s the combined support of our board, providers, clinical and non clinical staff and sector stakeholders that keep us strong and successful for the populations we serve.

This issue, along with news from the clinics, trustees and our communities, I have included my own reflections on some of this year’s highlights and challenges for the PHO. You can find out more about those in our newly released annual report, which I know you will enjoy reading.

This festive season will again see our PHO/Nirvana clinics play a vital role providing healthcare services. Our clinics across Auckland are staffed with wonderful GPs, nurses and support personnel right through the break including statutory holidays. I would like to acknowledge the tremendous effort that goes into staffing the network over this time. 
Wishing you the very best of the season, and I look forward to your ongoing support through 2016.

Nāku noa nā,
Mark Vella
Executive Officer
PS. As a reminder, Total Healthcare contracts Nirvana Health Group as its management support organisation, and Nirvana contracts medical providers to deliver the services required in the PHO/DHB contracts. The providers include East Tamaki Healthcare, West Auckland Healthcare, Mt Roskill Healthcare, Raukura practices and White Cross.  

Dr Paul Hutchison joins ETHC Takanini clinic

A passion for the care of children brings the former Health Select Committee chair and National MP Dr Paul Hutchison to Total Healthcare’s Takanini clinic.

While Dr Hutchison, formerly National MP for Hunua, was in Parliament he developed a great interest in the care of high-needs children following an inquiry he instigated as chair of the Health Select Committee.
Upon retiring from politics after the 2014 general election, Dr Hutchison decided not to return to gynaecology and obstetrics from whence he came, but rather to enter into general practice. Read this and more in Total Healthcare’s latest annual report. 

Screening promo takes to the airwaves

Smear taker Peta Ngari is taking to the airwaves to encourage Pacific women to regularly take part in cervical screening.

Peta, pictured above with Radio 531pi host Malo Toe, is part of the arsenal Total Healthcare is using to improve screening statistics. Based at provider East Tamaki Healthcare’s Mangere clinic, Peta went on live radio to promote cervical screening, in English and Cook Island Maori.

Cervical screening numbers have been a real bugbear for the PHO in 2015. In Counties Manukau, practices took smears for 64% of eligible women. For Waitemata and Auckland the numbers were 66% against a target of 80%. The final result isn’t good enough.

The PHO is trying a range of initiatives, including pop-up clinics at the weekend and after-hours, and incentivising patients with petrol and supermarket vouchers. The focus for 2016 is to bolster the number of nurses available to take smears and ramp up health promotion using Health TV and local media.

Ranjna Patel finalist: Influential Women

Total Healthcare PHO trustee and Nirvana Health Group founder Ranjna Patel is a finalist for Westpac Bank’s Women of Influence Awards.

The awards are designed to support, promote and celebrate diversity and the invaluable contribution women make to New Zealand. Read more

NHG, Police join on domestic violence

Early intervention is being delivered by Nirvana Health Group in partnership with Counties Manukau Police and Sahaayta Counselling and Social Support.

The partnership, using a Lotteries Commission grant, has established what is thought to be New Zealand’s first facility that offers early intervention for, initially, South Asian males who are under a Police Safety Order. Read more

Evolution, VCLA, targets & after-hours care

One huge success for our providers this year was switching over to a new practice management system, MedTech Evolution, which was a mammoth task but well worth the effort.

The bulk of our patients are now on one database with an increasing number of them able to access and contribute towards their health records through the patient portal, Manage My Health. Older patients with long term conditions can also nominate a caregiver to have access to their records and assist them with their treatment plan.

The PHO register continues to grow as our providers offer ease of access to high quality healthcare. The clinics, powered by Nirvana Health Group (NHG), now serve close to 200,000 enrolled patients and, together with the White Cross network, care for over 3,000 patients a day across Auckland. 

The Primary Health Care Strategy refresh saw a strong focus on Very Low Cost Access (VLCA) funding formula. VLCA is designed to support practices with large numbers of high needs patients to keep fees low. This funding makes a significant contribution towards our ability to ensure access for our large number of high needs patients, and we sincerely hope that patients are not presented with cost barriers as a result of the refresh.

We have also faced some uncertainty over the after-hours initiative, which has White Cross and East Tamaki Healthcare clinics as contributors. We trust the DHBs will soon manage to give more clarity about the way forward. 

Another challenge associated with serving the needs of a very large cohort of high needs patients is Total Healthcare’s ability to meet its targets. So I’m pleased to report that we have achieved great rankings for immunisations, advice to smokers and CVD checks. The challenge, however, has definitely been endeavouring to achieve the cervical smear target, despite continued efforts by the team. We are looking to get to the 80% target before June 2016.

One final word: I extend my congratulations to our trustees Ranjna Patel and Dr Kanitlal Patel for their exceptional personal achievements over the past year. They continue to inspire everyone working with NHG.

Mark Vella
Executive Officer
Total Healthcare 
Copyright © 2015 Total Healthcare Charitable Trust, All rights reserved.

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