Well Child/Tamariki Ora quality improvement

Well Child/Tamariki Ora (WCTO) services are safe and effective. As with any programme there are opportunities to improve the quality and consistency of the delivery and increase WCTO’s contribution to improving child health outcomes.

The Government has recently completed the following quality improvement initiatives.

Review of the Well Child/Tamariki Ora Practitioner Handbook and National Schedule

The Well Child/Tamariki Ora programme is delivered by a range of providers and the Practitioner Handbook was developed by the Ministry to assist and support them.

The Practitioner Handbook has recently been reviewed to consolidate existing information and best practice evidence into one handbook for all providers of WCTO services.

It outlines the purpose, evidence, outcomes and best practice guidance for delivery of the programme. The handbook is used to support planning, education, and professional development and as reference material when providing services to families.

The revised handbook integrates the WCTO and B4SC practice manuals and other WCTO resources. It specifies the roles and expectations on practitioners and provides national protocols for delivery. New content provides information to WCTO practitioners on how to support families with high or complex needs.

It specifies the role of the practitioners in supporting families to access specialist services, provides nationally consistent referral pathways and establishes clear lines of responsibility for referral follow up.

Well Child/Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement Framework

The Ministry of Health, in partnership with sector expert advisors, has developed the WCTO Quality Improvement Framework, drawing on New Zealand and international research.

The Framework has 3 high-level aims, focusing on family/whānau experience, population health and best value for the health system resource and sets 27 quality indicators to audit health system performance.

The Framework will support DHBs and WCTO providers to monitor quality, identify local quality improvement priorities and implement improvements to WCTO and related child health services.

Well Child/Tamariki Ora Quality Indicators

The Well Child/Tamariki Ora Quality Indicators show areas of excellence and areas for improvement, nationally and for specific population groups and regions.

The indicators are broadly grouped into indicators that reflect the three high-level aims of the Framework: universal access, equitable outcomes and continuous quality improvement, and will be published by DHB, ethnicity and NZ Deprivation Index quintile every 6 months.

The Quality Indicators support the Ministry, DHBs and providers of WCTO and related child health services to identify and prioritise areas for national and local quality improvement and are being launched as part of a comprehensive programme to improve the quality and coverage of the WCTO programme to ensure New Zealand children get the best start in life.

The Well Child Quality Improvement Framework was reviewed in 2016 with the main change being the reduction in the indicator set from 27 to 18 indicators. More information and the reports for the revised indicator set from March 2015 to September 2017 and ongoing are available on the Nationwide Service Framework Library.

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