A nationwide upgrade of community-based oral health facilities to support the delivery of child and adolescent oral health services and to improve oral health outcomes was funded in 2006.
A nationwide upgrade of community-based oral health facilities to support the delivery of child and adolescent oral health services and to improve oral health outcomes was funded in 2006. Addressing the current inequalities in oral health outcomes is a priority for the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB).
The model for the HBDHB oral health strategy proposes to increase access for Hawke’s Bay high need populations and engage families early, through prevention and education programmes and by promoting healthy lifestyles from an early age.
A ‘hub and spoke’ model proposes moving from the current 45 school-based clinics to 3 community clinics, 6 fixed clinics based on school sites and a fleet of four double-operator mobile clinic caravans, one single-operator mobile clinic caravan and a mobile screening van. The model proposes that the community clinics will be in the “high need” communities of Wairoa, Flaxmere and Napier South/Maraenui, with fixed clinics in Onekawa, Greenmeadows, Hastings Central, Havelock North, Mahora and Waipukurau.
The HIA was led by the HBDHB and drew together evidence from the social science literature, submissions and feedback from community representatives, community organisations and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
The HIA focused on the three options for development of a community clinic in Flaxmere, which is part of phase one of the Hawkes Bay District Health Board Oral Health Strategy. The three options for the location of the community clinic are:
- As a part of a wider ‘health’centre in partnership with a community provider
- A site within the Flaxmere village
- Develop a school site for the suburb of Flaxmere.
The HIA also looked at how best to engage with caregivers/Whānau/Pacific families to ensure optimal access to the community clinic and involvement with their children’s care and treatment.
The HIA makes the following recommendations to the HBDHB Oral Health Steering Group:
- The community clinic should be located in the Flaxmere village and/or co located with another health provider.
- Community trust in the service and the staff will need to be established early and maintained.
- Implement an oral health community education programme in Flaxmere
- A collaborative approach to engaging schools in any health service delivery and health promotion activities should be taken.
- Workforce issues and succession planning for Dental Therapists needs to be addressed.
- A robust information and tracking system needs to be in place to prevent children being ‘lost’ in the system.
- Transport options for getting children and families to the community clinic need to be considered as part of planning.
- Regular communication with the schools and the Flaxmere community about the service developments should occur throughout the process.