Future improvements for health care
Kathryn de Luc, General Manager Integration of the Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) Franklin Locality shared her background in health with the ladies at BPW Franklin recently.
Kathryn provided an update of the ongoing work of the District Health Board to improve services and she outlined findings which will drive future improvements.
There are different organisations providing different aspects of healthcare within the CMDHB’s designated area, and there are inequitable health outcomes. With an aging population, the current health facilities of the area will not be able to cope at sustainable levels. Statistics indicate that Franklin is likely to grow from 76,000 to 118,000 over next 25 years.
There is a need for voluntary and community groups to engage on ways for families to manage their health options. As one example, children under four years old can end up in the Emergency Department at Middlemore Hospital. CMDHB want to prevent this by education and early intervention where possible.
Multi-disciplinary meetings are being convened in the Franklin area to bring organisations together to develop a shared care plan. De Luc suggested General practices will change their processes to allow the evolution of new models of care, by looking for ways of dealing with patients other than their visiting the practice rooms. People will be encouraged to do more for themselves with patient portals being one option. Feedback will be needed on this model of accessing online information about health care with individuals ability to have a baseline to manage their own health.
Community health integration will provide a range of specialists available to deal with patients so as to avoid admission to hospital, or by providing care in their home environment. Technology now provides teams with Calendar phones and tablets access to information while they are visiting in the patients’ homes. Other services within the locality being planned for further development includes palliative care, mental health services and prevention of falls for the 70+ age range.
The recent Blanket Appeal, has shown the strength of the Franklin community in getting behind a phenomenal enterprise. Kathryn checked on the number in the audience who had had flu vaccinations and asked if there was an awareness that pharmacies can now administer the subsidised flu immunisation. A&M Urgent after hours care is to be available from a new site in Pukekohe from the 1 July 2017 and the Board is encouraging more local practices to open for extended hours.
Kathryn answered questions and confirmed that there are no plans to close the Maternity Hospital however she reiterated that there would always be limitations on the extent of specialist services which could be provided in the local hospitals.
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