National Health Service impact on Hospice Taranaki

You will be aware that from 01 July 2022 our national health services have entered a new era. The new joint structure of Health NZ /The Maori Health Authority has replaced the Ministry of Health/DHB model. We are now part of the midlands region with Waikato Hospital our lead public provider.

The detail continues to be light regarding the new ways of delivering health for us and our work. Health NZs views of the value of palliative care aren’t fully understood nor is its priority clearly charted. Hospice NZ has proactively formed a group to design the best possible model for the delivery of palliative care services for the country's future and we are supporting this work. Work design will include thinking on a base model that is consistently available across NZ but able to have local variation if users wish that – this is a key wish of central government thinking. Our view is to develop a care model that we can present to Health NZ and work with them to refine to deliver as against waiting for a government model to be prescribed that we have to conform to with little influence around the input.

Once this process is signed off Health NZ will enter negotiations around costing this model so we can establish more accurate budgeting and contracting processes to support this work. This overall process may take up to three years to complete and bed into the business as usual. Initially, Health NZ has established a small number of localities across NZ to work with providers on how community health will look in the future. Hospice NZ is supporting hospices in these areas to learn and share knowledge on government expectations as this is rolled out across the country.

At this time in Taranaki, we expect to need to contract with multiple funders for a range of services, likely starting in the first half of 2023. Our changes of work will include matters such as new thinking about how and where community services are delivered, being able to evidence robust and active community partnerships, moving from a largely mono-cultural view to a wider lens, and carefully managing our specialist service position amongst these changes.

This will be a large and enduring piece of work and will affect our whole organisation in many ways into our future. I will continue to share updates as milestones are reached.

Please feel welcome to speak with me if you have any queries to date about these changes.

12 Jul 2022