The Youth Health quality improvement program began in 2016 using funding from the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project. The aims are to enhance primary care’s ability to provide appropriate, responsive, youth friendly health care to young people in Counties Manukau.
The program uses quality improvement methodologies to support primary care practices to understand their current strengths and weaknesses in youth health and identify and initiate improvement. An assessment tool is used followed by continuous quality improvement cycles, using the PDSA format (plan, do, study, act).
The project is part of a broader primary care quality improvement framework and aligns with quality improvement approaches familiar to primary care through the Patient Safety Initiative and the Planned Proactive Care quality improvement work. It aims to:
- Utilise primary care’s increasing understanding of change and improvement work;
- Incorporate these into a primary care focussed approach to youth health;
- Generate sustainable change and promote whole of system integration.
This project is supported by a working group, which includes PHO Primary Mental Health Coordinators, as well as a Youth Advisor, GP Champion, Practice Nurse, and other CMDHB representatives. A quality improvement advisor has also been appointed by Counties Manukau Health to support practices.