Andrew Little visits Papamoa Pines Health Improvement Programme
Recently on a visit to Tauranga, Health Minister Andrew Little attended Papamoa Pines at Domain Road to discuss the successes of our Health Improvement Practitioner program.
Already garnering great success stories, this programme was created by American Dr Patti Robinson, whose research showed that an integrated approach to primary healthcare would allow patients to obtain the tools required to ensure long-term personal health.
Combining programs covering Mental Health and addictions, amongst other areas of wellbeing, the Ministry of Health funds roles for Health Improvement Practitioners (HIP) and Health Coaches (HC) in practice.
Helping people build their own skills, knowledge and confidence to deal with mental health, addictions and general health wellbeing is the overarching idea. From this, behavioural changes occur which greatly improve quality of life.
The HIP is a health professional who is based at the GP practice. HC’s do not have clinical training but have skills in working alongside people in a coaching role to support their wellbeing.
HIPs are based within GP practices but HC’s see people in a number of settings including a person’s home, marae, office, park, coffee shop etc. Both the HIP and HC work closely with your Nurse / GP to find the best management for you.
There are no barriers as to who can see the HIP or HC, as long as the person is enrolled in the practice. Patients can also self-refer and do not need to see their GP first. It is a free service
Examples of how a HIP or HC can help make changes for the better:
- Create a healthy lifestyle by changing eating and exercise habits or learning relaxation skills, ways to sleep better and have good friends.
- Reflect on harmful habits like using alcohol, tobacco and drugs or getting angry easily and hurting people’s feelings.
- Cope with stress, including loss and sadness.
- Apply self-care techniques to manage pain, diabetes, medications and other issues.
Appointments can be made via the GP practice and are available every day the HIP/HC is in the practice for 20-30 minutes. Half of the day is for booked appointments and half is for unbooked appointments to allow for same-day referrals.
Photo originally appeared on NZ Herald at this link