Home is Where the Health is

Debbie Williams, who has shared her story for staff training, Andrew Metcalfe, Director Allied...
Debbie Williams, who has shared her story for staff training, Andrew Metcalfe, Director Allied Health; Strategy, Primary and Community, and Sally O'Connor, Director of Nursing; Strategy, Primary and Community. Photo: Supplied.
Many older people want to stay in their own homes – and Southern DHB will do everything it can to help them.

A new campaign ‘Home as my First Choice’ aims to raise awareness of support options for when an older person wants to either stay at home, or return home from hospital.

While home may not always be the right option, often it can be.

"t is amazing what solutions can be found if all of us – health professionals, the older person themselves and their families/whanau – ask ‘How can we support you to stay at home?" says Southern DHB Director Allied Health; Strategy, Primary and Community, Andrew Metcalfe.

Health teams can help people to be independent, care for themselves and continue to participate within their families/whānau and communities.

The campaign ties in with other initiatives to support older people to return home, and stay well at home, including the ‘Sit up, Get Dressed, Keep Moving,’ initiative and the Live Stronger for Longer programme.

To older people Andrew has a clear message: "If home is your first choice, whether you’re at home or in hospital, there are supports the DHB can put in place to make this happen. Talk to a health professional - your GP, a nurse, doctor or allied health team member - who can put you in touch with the right person to explore how ‘home can be your first choice."


Health Care Home initiative giving patients choice

More options for appointments and phone consultations and easier access to your clinical information is on the way, as GP practices are invited to participate in becoming a Health Care Home.

The Health Care Home programme is a cornerstone of the Primary and Community Care Strategy, unveiled in January by Southern DHB and WellSouth PHO, with the goal of improving access to health services across the district.

A major step in making this strategy a reality kicks off this week, as GP practices around the district are invited to submit an expression of interest to become a Health Care Home.

Part of a growing model for primary care, the Health Care Home programme is already operating across much of New Zealand, where the model of care has helped to make health services better connected and more accessible for hundreds of thousands of patients.

Becoming a Health Care Home is a process of continuous quality improvement supported byWellSouth and Southern DHB that helps general practices to increase capability and capacity, and better coordinate care with other health providers, including hospital specialist services.

Among the benefits patients can expect are better access to same - day appointments and options for consults by phone, and easier access to results and notes via a secure patient portals.

“The Health Care Home programme is fundamentally about giving patients more choice,” says Lisa Gestro, Executive Director, SDHB Strategy, Primary and Community. “Patients continue to see the doctors they know and trust but they also have more options for receiving care, have better access to information to manage their own care and have improved connections to other health services.”

Want to know more about the benefits of a Health Care Home? Visit www.healthcarehome.org.nz


Southern DHB Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Jane Wilson discussing her advance care...
Southern DHB Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Jane Wilson discussing her advance care plan with WellSouth’s Clinical Advisor, Dr Stephen Graham. Photo: Supplied.

Have you made an Advance Care Plan?

What is an advance care plan?

An advance care plan records what is important to individuals and their wants and hopes for their future health care in the event they cannot talk for themselves.

Why is it important?

Completing an advance care plan makes it much easier for families/whānau and health care providers to know what the person would want.

How do I make one?

The best starting point is a conversation with your family/whānau, and also with your GP. Advance care plans can be completed online at www.advancecareplanning.org.nz, or a plan template can be downloaded to complete later.


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