Established by the Central Pacific Collective, funded by CCDHB and supported by the DHB’s Health System Committee, the Porirua East-based service helps Pacific households manage and improve their health and prevent the need for hospital care.

“CCDHB knows that equity requires us to invest in services that are effective for our Pacific community, most of whom live in Porirua and carry a greater burden of poor healthcare” said Strategy, Innovation & Performance executive director Rachel Haggerty.

“Our Pacific children are more likely than others to come to the Emergency Department with a serious need that could have been prevented with earlier support, and our Pacific community are more likely to suffer from diabetes and spend time in our hospitals.

“The Central Pacific Collective has developed a Pacific-led nursing service that will work with our larger Pacific families to support their health and wellbeing.”

Households will be referred to the service by targeted Pacific health agencies. The service will then collaborate with other agencies – including GPs, education providers, local Pacific leaders, and others – to provide comprehensive support.

This includes having nurses from the Vaka Atafaga nursing team see eligible families in their home, providing nursing support until 9pm on weekdays, and operating an on-call service during weekends and public holidays.

“The service will support eligible Pacific families who have complex health needs, where supporting the family will be effective,” said Central Pacific Collective Perenise Ropeti.

“The service will work collaboratively with primary health providers – such as GPs – and NGOs, adding to the service and supporting those who need greater support.”

The service will be evaluated throughout its first year. There will be a strong focus on the service’s effect on families, their assessment of the service and experience of the health system, and their sense of independence. This will help determine whether similar services could be provided for other high needs communities.

“The team of Nurses has a range of clinical expertise and well-established community networks,” said Dr Margaret Southwick, on behalf of the Vaka Atafaga nursing team.

“The team is committed to delivering quality care for people who have to date experienced an inequitable burden of poor health outcomes.”

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