NZ Home Health Association: Squeeze, Stretch and Flex

Press Release – Home Health Association

The New Zealand Home Health Association (NZHHA) conference will be held in Auckland this week (11-12 April). The Association represents 40 organisations that provide health care, personal care and support for people living in their own homes.New Zealand Home Health Association: Squeeze, Stretch and Flex

10 April 2013

The New Zealand Home Health Association (NZHHA) conference will be held in Auckland this week (11-12 April). The Association represents 40 organisations that provide health care, personal care and support for people living in their own homes. Members include both private and not-for-profit organisations across New Zealand.

The theme of the two day conference, Squeeze, Stretch and Flex reflects the response of home support providers to current trends and service demands. It is a challenging time for the sector which has faced huge change in the 18 months since its last conference, largely as a result of contract changes, new services, client demand and the tight fiscal situation.

“Providers are flexing and stretching as a response to fiscal squeeze,” says Julie Haggie, Chief Executive of the Association.“Home support is at a crossroads.”

Learning from international experience is increasingly important as the demands on home and community support providers increase. One of the keynote international speakers is Dr John Hirdes, a Canadian professor at the University of Waterloo. Dr Hirdes is a Board member of InterRAI, an international consortium of researchers from over 30 countries which strives to promote evidence-informed clinical practice and policy decision-making through the collection and interpretation of high quality data about the characteristics and outcomes of people served by health and social services.

InterRAI assessments are used by most district health boards in New Zealand in determining the needs of older people who may need home support services. The Government is also seeking for this to be used for aged care residential services. Dr Hirdes’ presentation will look at Canadian experience with multiple interRAI tools.

Another international keynote speaker will join the conference by video link from Brandeis University. Professor Walter Leutz has written seminal articles on the integration of health services. He teaches courses in long-term care and ageing.

Director-General of Health Kevin Woods will open the conference. Hon Jo Goodhew, Minister for Senior Citizens, will also give a keynote address. Te Radar is the Master of Ceremonies for the conference. Nancy Chapman will talk about how providers can be truly effective by working in a partnership model with Maori.

Pacific Homecare will present on making a Pacific difference. The Ministry of Health and ACC will run workshops on responding to consumer complaints and on ACC’s new rehabilitation model. Sandra Hanmer, recently appointed CEO of Healthcare of New Zealand, will compare New Zealand and Canadian experiences of homecare.

John Parsons will talk about programmes to support people on their return to home following a hospital admission, and about casemix, a funding model based on data sets. Home support workers and consumers will also talk about their experiences and best practice. A range of other presentations and workshops will address the themes of integration and flexibility, workforce, and outcomes and effectiveness.

Ms Haggie says the conference will address critical issues for the home health care sector. “Services in the community need to be strong and integrated with other services so that we can effectively support people who want to live independently in their home.

“Our providers know that current and future demands on the health system can be eased through good service design, encouraging greater independence and self-care, and fully using and resourcing the home health workforce.”

Ms Haggie says she doesn’t expect the conference to come up with all the answers but believes it will provide the opportunity for reflection and learning.

The full programme is available.

ENDS

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