Health Matters WBOP March 2019

New clinic brings better support for people taking multiple meds Older people taking multiple medications for multiple health conditions can talk to a pharmacist and if needed be assessed by a Geriatrician at a new Outpatient Clinic at Tauranga Hospital. For many older people, polypharmacy (taking multiple medications for multiple conditions) is common. In New Zealand 35 percent of people aged 65+ are prescribed fi ve or more medications, and 8 percent of those aged 85+ are taking 11 or more medications at one time. “Taking multiple medications may be benefi cial for quality of life and staying well, as long as this is carefully managed. Research shows 58 percent of people on fi ve or more medications will suffer an adverse side effect. There’s also a higher risk of falls and other age related conditions that can lead to hospitalisation. “Our new Outpatient Clinic allows people to bring along family or friends and spend up to an hour with a pharmacist discussing all their medications, prescribed and non- prescribed, their benefi ts, potential side effects and possible changes. At the same time, they can be seen by a Geriatrician who may add to the recommendations, arrange appropriate investigations or further review,” says BOPDHB Geriatrician Dr Vicky Henstridge. The Bay of Plenty has a high and growing population of older adults. In the Western Bay people can access specialist pharmacist advice and support about their medications through Medwise. “The Outpatient Clinic’s designed to complement those existing services. People do have their medications reviewed by their GP, often in collaboration with the excellent Medwise service. However, as our population ages, the need for reviews is increasing, and so too is the need for input from a Geriatrician.” Although the clinic is in its early phase and processes are still being fi ne-tuned, Vicky says ultimately the clinic’s been set up to support older people to stay well and improve their quality of life. She says the BOPDHB will be monitoring the clinic’s progress and depending on its success, we may look at developing a similar clinic at the Outpatients Department at Whakatāne Hospital. For further information including referral criteria please contact Geriatrician Dr Vicky Henstridge (left) and Pharmacist Adele Harrex at the new Outpatient Clinic providing better support for people taking multiple medications for multiple health conditions. Disability resource developed in the Bay shared nationwide A teaching resource developed at the BOPDHB designed to improve the way health staff communicate with patients living with disabilities, is being profi led by the Health Quality & Safety Commission, and shared nationwide. Established in 2010, the Commission works across the health and disability sector to improve the quality and safety of services for all people. The teaching resource titled Do you really see me or just my disability? tells the stories of seven Bay of Plenty people living with disabilities (tāngata whaikaha). The stories are shared from their own perspective, and in the case of two who have passed away, their families. BOPDHB Quality and Patient Safety Co-ordinator Cheryl Shearer says she chose to develop this resource after dealing with patients and families with concerns about their medical care and how staff communication impacted on their patient journey. “There are touchpoints in every patient’s journey that have an impact on how we as health staff make them feel. The information provided by these people in this resource has identifi ed themes that we can all learn from.” “These people have very different life experiences but what ties their stories together is a desire to be treated with dignity and respect. Seemingly simple things like greeting a person and asking them if they need assistance, before doing anything else, are really important.” Dr Chris Walsh, Director of Partners in Care at the Commission says that listening to patients’ From the Chair In this issue of Health Matters, we are sharing with you our draft Māori Health Strategy Te Toi Ahorangi 2030. In the December 2018 Ministerial Letter of Expectations for all District Health Boards the Minister said, ‘’Achieving equity within the New Zealand Health system underpins all of my priorities. Maori as a population group experience the poorest health outcomes. As you consider equity within your district, there needs to be explicit focus on achieving equity for Maori across their life course.” Te Toi Ahorangi provides our local health system and tangata whenua with a clear direction for improving Māori health over the next decade. As Albert Einstein said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” The vision of Te Toi Ahorangi asks us to embark on a different journey together and this will take commitment and the courage to change what we do and how we do it. If we, here in the Bay of Plenty, are going to achieve the Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s vision of Healthy, thriving communities, Kia Momoho Te Hāpori ōranga we must uphold the aspirations of Te Toi Ahorangi so tangata whenua can fl ourish More details about the draft Māori Health Strategy and a schedule of public hui are on the following pages. We are really keen to get people involved in understanding the aspirations and involved in making a difference for all people in the Bay of Plenty. Sally Webb, Chair Bay of Supporting people Plenty District Health Board to get well, stay well and be well is at the heart of our health service. As you are no doubt aware, there is a measles outbreak in Canterbury and there have been confi rmed cases in the North Island as well. This is an avoidable disease that can have catastrophic outcomes. Just last week I was reading a Facebook article by children’s author Roald Dahl about how his seven you old daughter caught measles and died from complications in 1962. Please check your immunisation status and that of your children. Immunisation is our best protection. Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi With your basket and my basket the people will live. Arohanui Sally Webb Cheryl Shearer (centre) surrounded by those who contributed to the teaching resource and their families. experiences of care helps us to understand where improvements can be made. “We strive for a world-class and patient-centred health care and disability support system in New Zealand. Listening to the patient experience and using patient stories to inform improvements, is a key part of this.” You can view the resource online by searching Do you really see me or just my disability at