Since 1 October 2012, babies have been enrolled with their general practice soon after birth so they can receive essential health care including immunisations on time.
Prior to this policy change fewer than half of newborns were enrolled with a general practice at 12 weeks. As at Quarter Four 2015/16, 77% of newborns were enrolled with a general practice within three months (based on children born between 20 February 2016 and 19 May 2016.
Under this policy, general practices enter the newborn’s details into their patient management database as soon as they are nominated as the baby’s general practice by the parent(s) at the birthing unit, rather than waiting to enrol them at their first doctor’s appointment.
One of the benefits of this system is that practices will be able to remind parents when their baby is due for their first immunisation at 6 weeks of age.
Prior to this policy there were few newborns enrolled at 6 weeks of age which meant many started their immunisations late exposing them to preventable diseases like whooping cough and measles. This could also lead to delays in receiving further immunisations. Earlier enrolment helps minimise this risk.
A training toolkit has been developed for Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) and general practices concerning early enrolment. The information sheets attached to this section are designed to assist DHBs, PHOs, GPs, nurses and other staff involved in this scheme.
Download the training toolkit on the Newborn Pre-Enrolment Toolkit publication page.
Preliminary Newborn Enrolment Policy – update (doc, 29 KB)