Lakes DHB committed to achieving equity in Māori health
29/04/2020 8:10:30 a.m.

August 2019

Lakes DHB committed to achieving equity in Māori health

Te Manawa Rahi – Lakes DHB Strategic Plan 2019-2021.

Lakes DHB has started to roll out its new health strategy, which has been developed and finalised over the past six months. The strategic plan for 2019-21 is called Te Manawa Rahi and was formally endorsed by the Lakes District Health Board at its July monthly meeting.

For a number of years now Lakes DHB has had reducing health inequalities as its over reaching strategic priority. Te Manawa Rahi, the DHB’s new strategy represents a strengthening of the DHB’s long-held commitment to health equity, with the more specific vision of achieving equity in Maori health.

Some 35 per cent of the Lakes DHB’s estimated population of 110,000 are Maori. Lakes has the third most deprived DHB population in the country, with 55 per cent living in the poorest quintiles 4 and 5, compared to 40 per cent nationally. The majority of all live births in the Lakes DHB area are Maori babies or pepe, with just over 70 per cent of all live births occurring to whanau living in quintiles 4 and 5.

The development of the strategy included consolidating the material from previous governance workshops, and further engagement with a range of stakeholders. Our iwi governance bodies, Te Roopu Hauora o Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, through Te Kapua Whakapipi office, and Te Arawa Whānau Ora worked closely with the DHB on the the major focus of the strategic direction which is achieving health equity for Māori. Their support will see ongoing discussions and co-design opportunities as we move forward.

Along with achieving equity in Māori health, the other two strategic goals focus on the issues and activity the DHB wants to progress for people, their whānau and communities in the Lakes district. These are build an integrated health system and strengthen people, whānau and community wellbeing, and are aligned to the five strategic themes in the NZ Health Strategy.

Each of the three strategic goals has a defined approach and set of spotlights, or areas that the DHB will work on.

Achieve equity in Māori health - Te taeatanga tika o te hauora Māori.

Chief Executive Nick Saville-Wood says enacting the strategy will see all health services focus on equity with improving health outcomes for Māori given priority.

He says a key driver will be the DHB’s commitment to its relationships and partnerships with iwi to inform our actions, decision making and priorities.

“This will need to see us embedding achieving equity for Māori in everything we do, as a whole-of-system approach. Included in this will be a drive to actively recruit a Māori health workforce, embracing a whānau ora approach and partnership in designing and delivering services and models of care, and support of community development initiatives that put Māori at the centre of solutions and the configuring of health services,” said Nick Saville-Wood.

Build an integrated health system - Ngā herenga tika i roto i te pūnaha hauora

The second strategic goal focusses on building an integrated health system, that is responsive and flexible, enabling people to receive high quality, timely and appropriate services. This will require strong relationships and staff engagement across the health and care services.

Nick Saville-Wood says the approach to an integrated health systems means that “no door is the wrong door”, ensuring that patients and whanau are linked to the services they need.

He says an integrated system and joined up team approach will require us to further develop our alliancing models, across a range of other disciplines such as maternity, oral health, PHOs, school based health services and community nursing. Collaboration and increased intersectoral engagement will be vital to seeing us all make a difference in the Lakes rohe.

Strengthen people, whānau & community wellbeing - Te whakareinga i te oranga o te tangata, te whānau me te hapori

Wellbeing is the focus of the third strategic goal, working towards people and whānau being able to more easily connect with health and take more control of their health and healthcare plans.

Nick Saville-Wood says achieving this will require a focus on primary and community based services to increase wellness, planned care and reduce the need for hospital interventions.

“This will involve us looking at programmes that help people make lifestyle changes to reduce their risks of heart disease, long term conditions, cancer and mental health,” said Nick Saville-Wood.

Nick Saville-Wood says the 1600 staff at the DHB are focussed on the best outcomes for patients and whānau.
He says the leadership across the DHB will be closely involved in helping to plan and put into operation the key elements of the strategy, and the progress will be regularly reported to the Board. Detailed planning will lay out how the strategy will be put into action, identifying which pieces of work will take place and when over the next two years.