‘Com­mu­nity health hub’ to be con­sid­ered

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS WEEKEND - HAMISH MA­CLEAN hamish.ma­clean@odt.co.nz

WAITAKI Dis­trict Health Ser­vices will con­sider whether it be­comes a ‘‘com­mu­nity health hub’’ as it im­ple­ments its plan to change the way health care is car­ried out in the dis­trict, Waitaki Dis­trict Health Ser­vices chair­man Chris Swann says.

The South­ern Dis­trict Health Board’s (the health board) re­cently re­leased South­ern Pri­mary and Com­mu­nity Care Strat­egy was closely aligned to a plan WDHS cre­ated last year af­ter a lengthy joint re­view of ser­vices at Oa­maru Hos­pi­tal with the health board as the two sides came to terms with a new fund­ing agree­ment for the area.

Both the plan for Oa­maru Hos­pi­tal and the health board’s new strat­egy called for some form of health ‘‘hub’’.

‘‘It’s not a new idea — it was in the model of care plan that we de­vel­oped,’’ Mr Swann said.

‘‘We’re ob­vi­ously go­ing to be talk­ing to the board about . . . what they en­vis­age their hub to look like, what we’ve got as a vi­sion for a hub, how they align.

‘‘There’s a whole process to go through to be­come a hub. You don’t all of a sud­den de­cide you’re go­ing to be a hub.’’

The health board de­scribes com­mu­nity health hubs as ‘‘com­ mu­nity fo­cused, co­lo­cated and in­te­grated groups of health providers’’ which could in­clude out­pa­tients clin­ics, day surgery, pre­ad­mis­sion clin­ics, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vices, tele­health clin­ics, ex­panded men­tal health ser­vices, re­nal dial­y­sis, nurseled and al­lied health­led clin­ics.

Mr Swann said, lo­cally, WDHS was ‘‘con­stantly evolv­ing’’ its plan and the next two years would be cru­cial as the fu­ture look of how health care was de­liv­ered set­tled into place.

‘‘There will be a lot hap­pen­ing in the next two to three years,’’ he said.

‘‘I believe it is go­ing to be very ben­e­fi­cial for the health ser­vices in the com­mu­nity.’’

Chris Swann

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