Plunket launching new mobile clinic in Wellington and Wairarapa

Press Release – New Zealand Plunket Society
When Plunket launched its ‘Build a Bus’ fundraising drive for one new mobile clinic, it got more than it bargained for.

The response from donors surpassed all expectations, and Plunket raised enough for not one, but three mobile clinics. Donors contributed over $140,000, and Plunket’s long-term fleet partner LeasePlan also got on board donating one mobile clinic. The clinics are now hitting the streets in Northland and Auckland, and will be launching in Wellington/Wairarapa at the end of August, to provide Plunket services to more children and their families in high needs communities.

“Mobile clinics are another vital part of our service in some communities, as they can make it easier for children and families to access the health services they’re entitled to,” said Brenda Hynes Plunket General Manager of Service Delivery.

“Some parents find it difficult to take their babies and young children to Plunket clinics, perhaps because transport is an issue. Families often go to great lengths to get to our clinics, and they tell us that the mobile clinics give them more options for accessing our services,” said Ms Hynes. “It’s important to us that every child has the same opportunities for accessing our service.”

The mobile clinics are staffed by Plunket nurses and Karitane / health workers, and provide families with more choice in how to access Plunket’s free services for children under five. Assessments such as before school checks and vision and hearing checks as well as Well Child checks are also available. The mobile clinics provide the same services as static Plunket spaces, but will travel to and park at different locations, offering on-the-spot services.

The Northland and Auckland mobile clinics are already out providing services to the community, and the Wellington/Wairarapa mobile clinic will hit the road at the end of August. Each mobile clinic is operated by its local Plunket team in the way that best meets the needs of the community.

Hynes also said that the mobile clinics add to Plunket’s present clinics and use of local community venues, and will be used in different locations according to the needs of the local community: “It provides us with more flexibility – for some services such as B4 School Checks we often need three rooms to provide services, so a mobile clinic can sit alongside a community hall or marae to provide that additional space needed. Not all of the clinics are the same, because not all communities are the same.”

And this may not be the end of the road for ‘Build a Bus’: “Plunket continuously looks at how we can improve and provide services to the community, and we may need more mobile clinics in the future, depending on what people tell us they need, and on the funding we can raise,” said Ms Hynes.

Carolyn Mettrick, Plunket National Fundraising Manager thanked all ‘Build a Bus’ donors for making a difference for Kiwi kids: “We are so grateful for the generous support of everyone who donated to this appeal. Their kindness means we are now able to put three new mobile clinics where they are needed around New Zealand. In these areas, children were at risk of missing out on Plunket support and mobile clinics provide families with better access to gain the support they need to ensure the health and well-being of their children. We’re excited to see the new Wellington mobile clinic hit the road next week – we couldn’t have done it without the support of people in the community – thank you.”

Find out more about Plunket’s services at plunket.org.nz, where you can find contact details for your local Plunket area office.

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Notes to editors

• Plunket’s Build a Bus campaign launched in October 2013 appealing to the community to fund one mobile clinic. Plunket’s long-term fleet partner LeasePlan pledged to contribute one whole clinic, if the target was reached. A total of $146,536 was donated over three months, paying for two clinics, and LeasePlan donated one clinic. Plunket currently has mobile clinics providing services to communities in Canterbury, Wellington/Wairarapa, Auckland region and Northland.

• Each mobile clinic is equipped to serve its local community, and services provided through the mobile clinics differ from region to region.

About Plunket

For over a century Plunket has been giving New Zealand parents the support they need to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies. Plunket’s vision is Mā te mahi ngātahi, e puāwai ai ā tātou tamariki – Together, the best start for every child.

Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five.

Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).

Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5 and include ririki / parent education resources based on Maori tikanga, kaiāwhina / healthworkers who provide care to whānau. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.

For more information visit plunket.org.nz

About BNZ – Principal Sponsor

Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.

BNZ is proud to have been a part of New Zealand since 1861 and looks forward to supporting another organisation that has been integral to our country’s upbringing.

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