A new direction for health services in Tairāwhiti

25 August 2015

A new direction for health services in Tairāwhiti was launched this month (September). Over 80 people from health related organisations throughout the district attended the event. They participated in workshop discussions centred on helping to turn around poor health outcomes for Tairāwhiti people.

Those attending were introduced to Hauora Tairāwhiti, the new name for the previous Tairāwhiti District Health and the new kaupapa – Whāia te hauora i roto i te Tairāwhiti – a healthier Tairāwhiti by working together.

Renowned artist and ta moko tohunga Mark Kopua introduced the image he has created to portray the new kaupapa. It includes many designs that signify the organisation’s values and the people for whom we serve.

Ta Moko Tohunga Mark Kopua

Artist and Ta Moko Tohunga Mark Kopua has created the imagery that reflects Hauora Tairāwhiti’s new direction.

Renowned artist and ta moko tohunga Mark Kopua introduced the image he has created to portray the new kaupapa. It includes many designs that signify the organisation’s values and the people for whom we serve.

The name change reflects a commitment to the health and wellbeing of Tairāwhiti people not just the services delivered by Gisborne Hospital, says Board Chair David Scott.

“The TDH Board unanimously support and encourage this new direction. Despite all the hard work over the past years the statistics still paint a dismal picture. It is clearly obvious that if we carry on doing the same things we will continue to get the same results. This new way forward is radically different and will involve individuals being better informed and more involved in being personally responsible for their own health. There will also be a closer alignment and cooperation with other agencies as we seek to combat deprivation. Adequate warm housing; moderation with food and drink along with a healthy diet are all significant factors that contribute to a healthier Tairāwhiti population."

We are definitely at a point where we need to rethink how we deliver health services in this district, says Hauora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Jim Green. While we have excellent providers of health services in the community and are delivering more health services than ever, with more staff in both Hauora Tairāwhiti and the community, we are still struggling to make inroads into turning around poor health outcomes. This was highlighted in a recent Statistics New Zealand report showing that statistically we are dying younger than people in other parts of the country. This is mostly due to the fact that in Tairāwhiti Māori on average die five years younger than non-Māori. This difference is unacceptable and we need to act now to change this.’

“We must ensure people are receiving all the benefits of health services, that we are improving Māori health outcomes and extending life expectancy for all. A big part of improving health outcomes is looking at how health care is delivered in Tairāwhiti. This involves working seamlessly with all Tairāwhiti health and wellbeing focussed organisations.”

The next step is planning how we will move ahead with the process of co-designing how health services in the future will be delivered, added Mr Green. “A small team will be set up to ensure the co-design exercise delivers a robust plan to make positive changes to how health services are delivered in Tairāwhiti. This governance group will include representatives from the three Primary Health Organisations, Te Runangnui o Ngāti Porou and Te Runanga Turanganui A Kiwa, health service consumers and Hauora Tairāwhiti.”

“Co-design is a method of designing better experiences for patients, whānau and staff. It involves capturing and understanding the experience of patients, whānau and staff. We have approached Counties Manukau DHB to assist us with the set-up and running of the co-design process. They have experience in this type of planning and working with diverse communities.”

We hope to finalise arrangements within the next two weeks and then time frames for co-design workshops can be confirmed.