This booklet looks at how health professionals in our communities are working with one another and with hospital-based clinicians, to provide more services in community settings which, for most New Zealanders, translates to ‘care closer to home’.
The focus is on keeping New Zealanders healthy and out of hospital. You’ll see examples in this booklet where treatments that were traditionally only available in hospital are now provided at local health centres, for instance, intravenous antibiotics for the skin infection cellulitis.
Health services are increasingly available in locations that are more convenient for the patient. This leads to potential health problems being identified earlier, before hospital services are needed. School based health services such as the Rheumatic Fever Prevention Programme are one example you’ll see here.
More health professionals are using telemedicine giving people, particularly those living in rural parts of the country such as Opotiki, better and sometimes faster access to the care they need.
You’ll see examples in this booklet where community-based health professionals are working together with hospital-based clinicians to provide New Zealanders who have long-term conditions with better support so they don’t need hospital treatment. And, better support is available at home for those who’ve recently been discharged, to reduce the likelihood of readmission. The Christchurch-based mobile pharmacist who is helping people manage their medications at home and a similar initiative in Tauranga are two examples shown here.
Care Closer to Home is dedicated to New Zealand’s health professionals – the hospital-based clinicians, the GPs, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, physiotherapists and caregivers who are working together creating better health services in your community.