Wrap-around support for Māori traumatic brain injury patients


Speech Language Therapist Amy Rosenfeld.
Speech Language Therapist Amy Rosenfeld.
Speech Language Therapist Amy Rosenfeld is passionate about improving the health outcomes of Māori patients, particularly in the area of trauma quality.

Having recently completed a Trauma Quality Improvement Facilitator Course, Amy has had the opportunity to complete a special project aimed at streamlining the transition from hospital to home for Māori patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“It has been reported some of these patients have difficulty making the transition back home,” says Amy. “I wanted to find out what the barriers were to accessing support and how these could be overcome.”

Following consultation with Māori patients with traumatic brain injuries and their whānau, Amy discovered although Kaupapa Māori community supports were available, they were not being used for brain injury recovery.

“It also became clear the rehabilitation ward staff were interested in working more closely with these supports, but didn’t know how, and that linking whānau back in with appropriate ACC or DHB supports can often be a challenge for community providers who may not be familiar with these systems or pathways.

“I started to look at various ways to support patients and staff which included discussions with Kaupapa Māori Community Health Providers, to find out what support they offered, as well as exploring how Whānau Ora Navigators and ACC could help.”

Amy has since created a pathway to services pilot, currently being trialled at Wakari Hospital.

As soon as Māori traumatic brain injury patients are admitted to the rehabilitation ward, they are referred to Kaupapa Māori Community Health Providers as a key point of contact to help them navigate the services available when they leave hospital. As part of this, referral providers are given key contacts at ACC and Southern DHB to support them in accessing further services and information for whānau.

Amy is supported by a core project team of Mathew Kiore, Pou Taki Educator, Sue Smith, Improvement Advisor, Denise Gordon-Glassford, Consumer Advisor, Trish Fredericksen, ACC Client Services Leader, project sponsor Gilbert Taurua, Chief Māori Health Strategy and Improvement Officer, and Kaupapa Māori organisations Araiteuru Whare Hauora and Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu.

“This is just a start. I hope to see Kaupapa Māori-specific services for Māori patients as a routine part of patient care to help navigate the health system and access appropriate services. Seeing it used routinely in other areas of health care in the future and improving the health outcome for Māori patients would be wonderful.”


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