The new campaign led by Counties Manukau Health and Ko Awatea, Manaaki Hauora – Supporting Wellness, is an opportunity to make a real difference to healthcare in Counties Manukau.
This campaign aims to put 50,000 people suffering from debilitating long term conditions back in control of their health – permanently. It’s about inspiring and enabling people to make lifelong changes to improve their health by giving them the tools, information and support they need.
Twenty-two teams from across Counties Manukau Health are working on projects ranging from better management of diabetes, heart failure and respiratory conditions to smoking cessation and tackling obesity.
- It’s better for everyone
Giving people the tools to manage their health, spot potential problems early and know how to access help if they need it means they can maintain a better quality of life and get the care they need in time to prevent a crisis. “Our community has a tendency to seek support quite late, and sometimes to be in serious trouble by the time they come to us. If we can give people the tools to manage their wellbeing, and to be alert to the signs that there are health issues developing, there’s got to be long term benefits for the individuals, their families, the community and our healthcare services,” says Cassandra Laskey, who is working on the Wellness Recovery Action Planning programme under the campaign.
- Lifelong benefits to health and wellbeing
Enabling people to manage their own health means that the benefits of therapy are sustained. “We’re trying to make a lifelong difference … help, motivate and give people the tools to make lifelong changes to improve their health. We want to give them the tools to manage their health and look after themselves,” says Sarah Candy, Better Breathing Coordinator.
- Designing care that works for our patients
Being part of the campaign is a chance to take healthcare services out into the community. We know that moving care into the community works better for our patients. The Better Breathing programme under the 20,000 Days campaign, which offered community-based pulmonary rehabilitation in Otara and Pukekohe, achieved much better retention and completion rates than the previous hospital-based programme, as well as receiving consistent positive feedback from participants.
- A greater impact than ever before
Manaaki Hauora – Supporting Wellness builds on the direction taken in the previous campaigns, 20,000 Days and Beyond 20,000 Days, but this new campaign will reach a lot more people and have a much greater impact. “Self-management skills that involve patients and their whaanau are going to have a knock-on effect,” says Fiona Horwood, a respiratory physician working on the Huff and Puff Bus to help people quit smoking. “For example, if you’re encouraging someone with COPD to go for a walk every day, you’ll find that other members of the family and their friends will go with them. Their community will become more active.”
- Professional satisfaction
Designing new and better services that really work for our patients and their families is deeply satisfying on a professional level. “It’s motivating, inspiring and exciting, and you pass that on to your patients. You have a chance to be involved in something new and different … to try something innovative,” says Fiona.
Teams involved in the campaign use improvement methodology to create positive change, with the support and backing of the improvement advisors and project managers in the campaign team. “You don’t have to know it all at the beginning. You try things on a small scale, and build up from there,” says Fiona. “It’s creating a big change with small steps.”
- Working together better
Campaign learning sessions offer a fantastic opportunity to learn how we can reduce duplication and work more efficiently. Getting everyone together in one room really shows up the areas where our work overlaps and gives teams the opportunity to combine their efforts. “There are quite a few people that have linked together who may not even have known what each other were doing otherwise,” says Fiona. “It will make some of the work that’s being done more efficient, because it will stop some of that duplication.”