MidCentral has released a report this week includes proposals for the medical workforce at the Horowhenua Health Centre in Levin.
The proposals address issues with medical cover for the inpatient beds whilst also providing a base for the ongoing development of services for older people living in Horowhenua and Otaki.
The changes in elder care have been driven by ongoing difficulties in providing qualified medical staff for 24/7 cover of Star 4, the 20 bed inpatient ward at MidCentral DHB’s Horowhenua Health Centre.
At the same time, the Central PHO, which also operates from the centre, has been stretched trying to provide care to older people in local aged residential care (ARC) facilities.
The report recommends that the Central PHO and MidCentral Health combine forces in a partnership approach to offer a sustainable solution.
Current STAR medical staff and a community/outpatient medical officer, with dedicated medical support from the Horowhenua Community Practice, would work across a number of sites – STAR 4, outpatients, ARC facilities, specifically the Levin Home for War Veterans and Reevedon Rest Home, and also support the local Health of Older People team, who provide care in the community.
“Through this partnership, we also see the potential for future expansion of our services, such as the provision of rapid assessment clinics for ARC residents," says Dr Syed Zaman, Clinical Director, Elder Health.
“This approach moves specialist care from the hospital to the community and fosters a partnership approach to managing older people’s health," says General Manager Strategy, Planning and Performance, Craig Johnston.
The report also recommends the appointment of a Service Director, Horowhenua Integrated Family Health Centre, who would have responsibility for all locally-based PHO and MidCentral Health Services.
This would provide local leadership across both organisations and in the future enable further integration of teams in other health areas.
The proposals are currently with staff and other key stakeholders for their feedback. A final decision on the proposal is expected in September.
Horowhenua and Otaki have the highest proportion of older people of all MidCentral DHB’s localities.
Copies of the report are available here