Porirua trial aiming to improve health and reduce hospital admissions

News from NZ Government
A new Social Sector Trial action plan in Porirua is focused on reducing avoidable hospital and emergency department admissions.

“There are now 16 Social Sector Trials throughout the country. The majority of these are focused on improving things such as truancy rates and youth crime. The Porirua Trial is applying this successful model towards achieving better health outcomes for the local community,” said Health Minister Tony Ryall who launched the trial today.

“There are 101 different approaches from various organisations to delivering local services – this Trial is about focusing the accountability and responsibility of these services to one localised leadership team.

“The Porirua Trial recognises that change is best driven by the people who know their communities and we are already seeing the benefits of having local leadership.

“For example, one provider teaching children to regularly use their asthma inhalers told them to keep them next to their toothbrushes. However, in some parts of Porirua, up to a third of children don’t have toothbrushes. The Trial team arranged for the asthma service to also provide toothbrushes to children and teach them how to use them.”

Over a two-year period, the trial sets out to achieve a number of objectives including:

· improved access to primary care in Porirua East and Titahi Bay
· improved hygiene and skin care in schools
· increased numbers of school children receiving free dental care
· improved health literacy so people can better manage their own health
· improved housing ventilation, and
· reduced alcohol availability and alcohol-related injuries.

“Porirua residents are nearly twice as likely to use the emergency department, or be admitted to hospital for a condition that might have been avoided through early intervention,” says Mr Ryall.

“The Trial aims to address the causes of local issues by using community leadership to guide government agencies. The Porirua community now has more ability to influence the way their services are delivered.

“We are also ensuring agencies, including health, police, education and social development, tackle local issues in a more integrated way.

“By engaging the community, and working together we will make a real difference for the people of Porirua,” says Mr Ryall.


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