Se­niors re­cover at home

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Older Waikato pa­tients who have had a spell in hospi­tal or the emer­gency depart­ment are re­cov­er­ing faster thanks to a per­son­alised re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vice that sup­ports them in their own homes.

The Gov­ern­ment is in­vest­ing an ex­tra $40 mil­lion into home-based sup­port ser­vices over the next four years.

The Min­is­ter of Health, Tony Ryall, has seen at first hand the work of the Waikato Dis­trict Health Board’s sup­ported trans­fer and ac­cel­er­ated re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion team (START).

These teams are made up of community and hospi­tal spe­cial­ist older per­son’s nurses. When an over 65-yearold presents at a Waikato ED, they sup­port that pa­tient so they don’t need to be ad­mit­ted into hospi­tal. These nurses also pro­vide post-op­er­a­tive care at home so that older pa­tients can re­turn home sooner.

They set in­di­vid­ual re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion goals with pa­tients and work in­ten­sively with them and their fam­ily in their own homes to achieve those goals some­times up to four times a day, seven days a week.

Mr Ryall said be­sides the ob­vi­ous ben­e­fits for the clients, hospi­tal wards had been re­port­ing re­duced length of stay.

The START pro­gramme is in­no­va­tive and a good ex­am­ple of part­ner­ships be­tween pri­mary and hospi­tal health care. Can­ter­bury Dis­trict Health Board adapted the pro­gramme for their sit­u­a­tion af­ter the earth­quake with ex­cel­lent re­sults.

In­te­grat­ing health ser­vices be­tween hos­pi­tals and health pro­fes­sion­als in the community not only makes sense, most im­por­tantly it is bet­ter for pa­tients.

START op­er­ates in Hamil­ton, Thames/Hau­raki and South Waikato.

Suit­able clients are as­sessed to have a po­ten­tial for par­tial or com­plete re­cov­ery with home re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion within six weeks.

Their home has to be an ap­pro­pri­ate and safe en­vi­ron­ment for the client and the team to work in.

START: New scheme helps older pa­tients’ re­cov­ery.

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