Topic: Health

Unnecessary hospital visits for East Coast infants and toddlers has been reduced,

By Aroha Treacher

For the first time on the East Coast, unnecessary hospital visits for infants and toddlers has been reduced, with more young children being able to see the GP first rather than clogging up the Accident and Emergency department.

On the East Coast, less young children are heading to the hospital for minor things like tummy bugs, respiratory and skin infections.
 
Dr Jo Scott-Jones (Pinnacle Midlands Health) says, "So that means we help kids to get into the GPs earlier our GPs are supported to provide really culturally appropriate services so that they're seen to be really friendly places and then we provide them with services to allow to treat those children within the community."

Ambulatory Sensitive Hospitalisation (ASH) rates have been reduced from nine kids of every 100 down to six kids in every 100 going to the hospital which matches the national rate.

Dr Jo Scott-Jones says, "We also connect them to wider social services to deal with the social determinants of health so warm dry healthy homes have a really big impact not only on cellulitis but respiratory infections and gastroenteritis as well."

The collaborative approach with Pinnacle and other local providers has meant fewer hospital stays for the region's most vulnerable.

Dr Jo Scott-Jones says, "We're working to push the boundaries further and really excited about what we're doing Tairāwhiti with integrating services in the future as well."

Those reduced ASH rates in the region have been a downward trend since 2012