Access central to new primary health plan

Andrew Swanson-Dobbs
Andrew Swanson-Dobbs
Wellsouth, the southern region's primary health organisation, has released its annual report and launched a new strategic plan.

The organisation's plan was developed to complement the primary and community care strategy recently implemented by the Southern District Health Board and WellSouth, chairman Dr Doug Hill said.

''At its core, this strategy is about helping patients to access the care they need, where and when it's best to provide that care.

''I think our annual report shows that WellSouth, with Health Care Home and other programmes, is taking a leading role in delivering the strategy.''

The plan centred on four key areas: healthy communities, whanau-centred care, evidence-based decision-making, and an engaged and empowered workforce.

''These principles will guide us in our work delivering the best possible primary healthcare to the people and communities that we serve'', Dr Hill said.

In his report chief executive Andrew Swanson-Dobbs said the previous year had seen Well-South settle in its ''Health Care Homes'' programme and launch the Client-led Integrated Care scheme (CLIC), which helped people with long-term conditions take more of a role in management of their care.

So far 59 practices had adopted CLIC, encompassing 6645 patients; the remainder were due to take it up by the end of the year, Mr Swanson-Dobbs said.

''The initiative has been well-received by patients and practices, and also recently received industry recognition with a Health Roundtable award.''

Health Care Homes, which will move GP practices towards a more integrated approach, was now in place at 15 practices with a further group making the change in the next financial year, Mr Swanson-Dobbs said.

''The largest practices in our district are now in Health Care Homes, with 121,000 patients in total, nearly 40% of enrolled patients.''

Dr Hill said WellSouth was in a strong financial position to continue to invest in a range of programmes and services.

''Attaining equity for our Maori population, as well as greater focus on mental health services for all, are among the area where we expect to make progress in the coming year.''

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