In 2008, the Ministry of Health commissioned Health Outcomes International to evaluate three community cancer support pilots. The pilot projects aimed at reducing inequalities in cancer access and outcomes for Māori and people living in rural areas, and were provided by:
- Tamaki Healthcare, Auckland
- Te Kahui Hauora Trust and Aroha Mai, Rotorua
- West Coast Primary Health Organisation (PHO), West Coast.
The services were based on international evidence suggesting that community-level cancer services may be effective in supporting more vulnerable populations to better understand, access and navigate the health system. They were built on a ‘patient navigator’ model of healthcare and aim to reduce barriers to cancer service access and care. They also aim to educate local communities about available health and social support services.
Although based on a common model of service provision each of the providers worked differently to deliver the cancer support services.
The evaluation found that the pilot services had a number of positive impacts for patients and their whānau as well as for health and social service providers. The executive summary of the Evaluation Report outlines the success factors of these pilot services as well as strategies for developing similar services in the future.