Commissioner’s Update July 2019

Kathy Grant
Kathy Grant
As a Commissioner team, our goal was to go beyond short term solutions, and focus on how the health system needs to be structured to prepare us for the next generation and beyond.
This is especially important as we design a new hospital in Dunedin, and ensure we are not designing for the system we have now, but for the system we need for the future.
This means providing care closer to home, making better use of technology, and working in a more integrated way across the whole health system – the principles that have inspired our new whole of health system logo and website, Southern Health.
This month we welcomed a further group of general practices into the Health Care Homes programme. This means that the benefits of more flexible ways of accessing primary care – such as telephone consultations, and more after hours options – are now accessible to nearly 40 per cent of our people across the district.
We also made further steps in the process of developing Community Health Hubs.
What are these? Currently, our health system is divided into primary care, such as your general practice, or secondary care, usually in a hospital, where you can receive specialist treatment or be admitted as a patient.
The Community Health Hubs aim to provide a new layer that enables more services from both primary and secondary care to be brought together based around what makes sense for patients.
Exactly what this means is yet to be determined, and may vary depending on the needs of each community, but will include a Health Care Home general practice as well as services such as diagnostics – labs or radiology, for example – some outpatient clinics, district nursing services or allied health services such as physiotherapy and pharmacy.
This month we called for feedback from investors and developers who may be interested in working with us to develop the physical facilities needed for this new approach to health services. Their input will help inform the next steps on this journey – we were heartened by the response and look forward to continuing our work in this exciting area.

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