A long-term gout management programme, an eczema education initiative, and a kaupapa Māori approach to diabetes management, are among eight projects from primary care provider teams from around the country that have been selected for the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Whakakotahi 2019 quality improvement programme.

Applicants were invited to submit proposals about any area of patient care they wanted to improve that was important to their patients or community and to them as providers of care.

Successful providers are supported by the Commission to learn about and implement their quality improvement projects, and share what they learn within their wider organisation, with the primary care sector and broader health and quality improvement communities.

All the projects support the Commission’s three primary care strategic priority areas: equity, integration and consumer engagement. Equity was given greater importance in Whakakotahi 2019 selection criteria.

This year the Commission has entered into a partnership with PHARMAC Te Pātaka Whaioranga to support three projects that focus on medicine access equity.

“We’re acutely aware that to achieve our goal of eliminating inequities in medicines access by 2025 we need to work with organisations that reach people who have inequitable access to medicines,” says PHARMAC Chief Executive, Sarah Fitt.

Chair of the Commission’s primary care expert advisory group, and member of the Whakakotahi selection panel, GP John Wellingham, says it’s wonderful to see the Commission’s three primary care strategic policy areas reflected so strongly in the Whakakotahi 2019 projects.

“This year we had even more Māori health organisations and pharmacies applying, along with general practices, primary health organisations and non-government organisations, proving that there is a strong interest in primary care quality improvement.”

Whakakotahi is also supported by Te Tihi, an alliance of nine iwi, hapū and Māori organisations that works collectively to deliver whānau-centred services for Māori health.

The successful projects for 2019 are:

Westbury Pharmacy/Hora Te Pai Health Services/ (Kapiti Coast)


The ‘hauora pai’ project (Māori for ‘good health’), is using a multi-disciplinary approach and a locally constructed, patient-led model of care to improve Māori and Pacific patients’ long-term gout management and reduce inequity of service provision.

This project is supported by Pharmac Te Pātaka Whaioranga.

South City Health (Hamilton)


Improving outcomes and addressing inequity for high-need eczema patients, aged under 18, through development and testing of a free, easily accessible, nurse-led clinic offering eczema education and support.
Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust (Taumarunui) Improving outcomes for patients with diabetes through a kaupapa Māori approach. The project is developing an integrated diabetes pathway through community engagement – particularly with Māori and Pacific communities – and holding diabetes education and support clinics in a community setting.
Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Trust (Hastings) Preventing cellulitis/infected eczema-related late presentations and/or hospitalisations through the development of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to responding to high-needs patients within a kaupapa Māori context. Improved health literacy, Whānau Manaaki and better coordinated support between general practice and the community setting are proposed.
Te Whānau a Apanui Community Health Centre (Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty) Medicines access in a remote rural community will be the focus of the improvement work to understand and build a sustainable model of community-driven quality improvement practices to address health disparities of its high-need, predominantly Māori population. Patient engagement and community guidance will drive the project with the aim of building a model that can be scaled to other low-resource settings.

The medicines access aspect of this project is supported by Pharmac Te Pātaka Whaioranga.

Tongan Health Society (Onehunga, Auckland)


To reduce the rate of diabetic complications in the Tongan population.  Clients will be offered an integrated wrap around model of care focussed on improving insulin starts for those in need.

This project is supported by Pharmac Te Pātaka Whaioranga.

Total Healthcare PHO (Otara, South Auckland) Working closely with patients presenting at the Bairds Road practice who have poor control of their diabetes, a new model of care will tailor services to individuals. It will include nurse-led clinics, peer coaches and psychology services aimed at improving patients’ diabetes management and improving equity.
Victory Square Pharmacy (Nelson) Improving the physical health of a group of patients receiving opioid substitution treatment through a community pharmacist-led model. The project aims to improve quality of life through access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment of the patients’ co-morbidities, enhanced self-awareness and encouraging self-reliance and independence.



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